Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Europe

Final plea over plans for biggest wind farm in Europe

Developers yesterday made a final plea to the Scottish Government to construct the biggest wind farm in Europe in the Western Isles. Lewis Wind Power (LWP) wants to build 176 turbines in Lewis, but ministers have indicated they are "minded to refuse" the project. The company was given until 5pm last night to make its case that the project can go ahead without harming the environment. ...the plans have attracted over 10,000 objections and been attacked by conservation bodies including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
15 Feb 2008

New planning guidance for wind energy development

The Minister invited comment on the guidance which is intended to assist developers to identify appropriate locations for wind turbine and wind farm developments. She said: "Energy from wind has an important role to play in helping reduce emissions of the harmful greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming. We in Northern Ireland are well placed to take advantage of this form of renewable energy, benefiting as we do from one of Europe's best wind resources. "However, it is vital to ensure that turbines and wind farms are located in the right places and that the landscape quality of our most scenic areas is maintained.
14 Feb 2008

MoD has serious concerns over wind farm location; Fallago Rig public inquiry continues

Giving his precognition during the second week of the public inquiry into the application by North British Windpower, Squadron Leader Neal Henley, Staff Officer for National and NATO Command Control Capability, said that even though there is 70km between the site in the Lammermuirs and an air defence radar head at RAF Brizlee Wood, near Alnwick, there was still a substantial risk that a windfarm development could disrupt air defences. He described the "significant adverse impact," any turbines could have on radar signals and stated that of the 48 turbines earmarked for Fallago Rig, 35 are calculated to be in the line of sight of the air defence radar.
14 Feb 2008

Wind farm developers consider next move

The developer behind the rejected plans to build five huge wind turbines between Bilsthorpe and Eakring says it is now considering its next move. ...And speaking to after the meeting, UK Coal spokesman Stuart Oliver said the firm was 'dismayed' at the decision. "We are disappointed with the outcome having revised the project and scaled down the height of the turbines as well as securing the recommendation to approve the scheme from the professional officers," he said.
13 Feb 2008

Firm makes case for turbine plans

Developers behind proposals for a multi-million pound wind farm on the island of Lewis are due to meet government officials. The meeting comes after ministers said they were "minded" to turn down the application from Lewis Wind Power. It wants to site 181 massive wind turbines on Barvas Moor. Almost 10,000 objections went to ministers, many from local people, but the scheme has been backed by the local council. ...The final decision on the planning application rests with the Scottish Government.
12 Feb 2008

Victory for Bilsthorpe wind farm protestors

Campaigners are celebrating after plans to build five giant wind turbines between Bilsthorpe and Eakring were refused by councillors on Tuesday afternoon. Newark & Sherwood District Council's Planning Committee had been expected to approve plans for the 100m-high turbines at two locations -- the former Bilsthorpe Colliery site and Stonish Hill, near Eakring. ..."I would like to congratulate the campaigners for making us aware of their concerns and the issues surrounding the application," he said. It is the second time the developers have been defeated in their bid to build a wind farm in the area.
12 Feb 2008

Wind farm rejection growth fears

Economic growth will be jeopardised if plans for a massive wind farm on the Western Isles are rejected, Scottish Chamber of Commerce has claimed. Chief executive Liz Cameron is to meet Enterprise Minister Jim Mather to voice worries that the Scottish Government is minded to turn down Lewis Wind Power. She said there had been "over-zealous" interpretation of European designations designed to protect the environment.
12 Feb 2008

Quiet revolution in Greek alternative energy; Is it pie in the sky?

Applications for wind farms that would generate more than 34,000 megawatts of electricity - almost three times the country's current generating capacity from all forms of energy - are being considered by the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE). At a time when the European Union is looking to strengthen its alternative energy policies and slash greenhouse gas emissions, Greece's energy regulators are apparently pinning their hopes on wind power to help meet ambitious energy targets. ...according to National Centre for Renewable Energy (CRES) president Yannis Agapitidis, within the land use plan are restrictions limiting the size of island wind farms to four percent of the area of that island. That would appear to make existing applications for farms on Skyros and Serifos, amounting to 330MW and 260MW, respectively, unviable.
7 Feb 2008

Green laws and regulation risk energy crisis, say Europe's power companies

Europe is facing an energy crisis because of green-influenced legislation and regulation, and difficulty in obtaining planning approval for key projects, energy companies warned yesterday. ...Teyssen urged the EU to avoid putting all its eggs into the renewables basket, arguing that they could cause more harm than good if national and cross-border grids were incapable of meeting the growth in their use. "You need a broader picture; you can't just say green is good," he said. However, the British government rejected the suggestion and said its energy market was the most competitive and liberalised in the EU and G7, encouraging investment from firms such as E.ON.
7 Feb 2008

£500m project offers jobs and income, but will it devastate the environment?

Eight days ago, to the jubilation of its critics and environmentalists, it emerged that the Scottish executive was "minded to refuse" the £500m scheme as it would seriously damage the moor's extremely fragile, internationally-protected habitats for rare birds such as dunlin, golden eagles, merlin, golden plover and red-throated divers. The moor itself is one of the most ecologically-significant peat bogs in Europe. Scottish ministers have since come under intense pressure to reverse that provisional decision before making a final announcement this month. Councillors, crofters' leaders and the developers are vigorously lobbying ministers and the European commission to save the north Lewis scheme, or at least find a compromise. Today the local Scottish National party MSP, Alasdair Allan, will face those bitterly-disappointed people at a meeting on Lewis.
4 Feb 2008

Go-ahead for wind farm as legal bid rejected

An attempt to block a major wind farm project on a Scottish island has been thrown out by the Court of Session. Campaigners claimed the granting of planning permission by Highland Council for 18 turbines on Skye was illegal and wanted it overturned. It was claimed the turbines would present a danger to rare birds, such as golden eagles. Amec Project Investments had applied for permission for the development at Edinbane on the island, which Highland Council granted last May. ...In a 30-page judgment, Lord Hodge found against the campaigners and dismissed their petition. He said: "While the documents which comprised Amec's environmental statement fell far short of the ideal statement, I am satisfied that the respondents did not act illegally in accepting them as an environmental statement in this case."
2 Feb 2008

Conservation groups' fury as Perthshire wind farm gets go-ahead

An application for the wind farm was previously rejected by Perth and Kinross Council following public opposition. A public inquiry was then held and the final decision, on whether to allow the facility lay with ministers. Describing the decision taken as an "important milestone in the government's energy strategy for Scotland" Jim Mather, energy minister, said: "Renewables capacity is already greater than the installed capacity of nuclear in Scotland. This wind farm will have the capacity to meet electricity demand for more than 100,000 homes, a further demonstration of Scotland's renewable energy potential. "There is no doubt that this country can become the green energy capital of Europe.
1 Feb 2008

Turbine battle in the wind again

Controversial plans for 12 wind turbines near Beverley have resurfaced a year after being rejected by councillors. The Mail can today reveal developers behind the application for the 100m high turbines have appealed to the Planning Inspectorate to overturn East Riding Council's decision. The wind farm plans for land north of Hall Farm in Routh will be the subject of a four-day public inquiry next month. The scheme was thrown out by the council's planning committee 12 months ago because of fears the turbines would dominate the Beverley Minster and ruin views from the Westwood. ...Nigel Goodhew, director of Ridgewind Limited, defended the plans. He said: "We do not think it is the case that the development would ruin the view, and that's why we are appealing.
1 Feb 2008

Wind turbines 'threaten landscape'

A nationally important Cornish landscape is at risk from a £5 million wind farm, a packed public inquiry heard yesterday. In what could be a landmark case, the hearing was told the plan for turbines at Morwenstow could seriously damage adjoining areas, one designated as of great landscape value and the other an area of outstanding natural beauty. The first day of the appeal, by Crimp Wind Power Ltd against a decision by North Cornwall District Council refusing planning permission, also heard the turbines would threaten the habitat of several rare species of bat. Moira Hankinson, a chartered landscape designer who carried out a visual assessment and audit for North Cornwall District Council said the development would be "entirely out of character with the narrow wooded valleys and winding lanes". She said: "It is a fragile landscape which needs care. ..."
30 Jan 2008

Islands seek wind farm back-up project

Western Isles Council is seeking an urgent meeting with the Scottish Government to discuss "effective and alternative investment" for the islands if a controversial wind farm is rejected. The Government indicated last week it is "minded to refuse" Lewis Wind Power's (LWP) plans for a 181-turbine development, although a final decision has yet to be made. The news was welcomed by environmentalists, but disappointed Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, which sees the project bringing much-needed employment to the islands. In a letter to Alex Salmond, the First Minister, the council convener, Alex Macdonald, says rejection would be "the wrong decision for the Western Isles, for renewable energy and for Scotland". He says a negative decision would imply the Western Isles is "closed for renewable energy business in future, and that environmental considerations are the principal, and dominant, factor in considering applications for renewable energy developments in the Western Isles".
29 Jan 2008

Grid boss warns of energy challenges

The chief executive of National Grid last night spoke of the "extremely challenging times" facing the energy sector. ...Mr Holliday said the economic imperative to tackle climate change was clear, while all types of energy - from renewables to coal - were needed to meet the challenges facing the UK in the next 15 years. "Gas will remain a critical energy source for homes, business and manufacturing for many decades to come," he said. "It will also provide the lion's share of the electricity generation in the short to medium term." ...He said, "Do not read into this that I do not support significant increases in renewables. I am absolutely behind this but it's not clear to me whether the real aim is to reduce greenhouse gas or to increase renewables. "It does not follow that the quickest and cheapest way to reduce greenhouse gas by 2020 is only by renewables."
29 Jan 2008

Wind farm plan is thrown out; Councillors reject Corlarach proposal

Bute and Cowal's councillors have turned down plans for a 14-turbine wind farm on a south Cowal hill directly opposite Rothesay Bay. Six councillors on the Bute and Cowal area committee unanimously rejected the proposal by Cowal Wind Energy Ltd to establish a wind farm on Corlarach, capable of generating up to 42 megawatts of electricity. Some 30 members of the public were present at the Queen's Hall in Dunoon for the hearing on Tuesday morning, though apart from Peter Wallace, secretary of Bute Community Council, and a reporter from The Buteman, none appeared to have made the journey from Bute. Though the council's own planning department recommended that the application be refused, they also received a huge volume of public correspondence on the matter - with the vast majority of responses apparently supporting the plan.
29 Jan 2008

Wind turbine row moves to Europe

Councillors from the Western Isles are to take their campaign backing the construction of a major wind farm on Lewis to the European Union. It is understood that the Scottish Government is "minded" to refuse the 181 turbine scheme. Angus Campbell, vice convener of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said a meeting with Enterprise Minister Jim Mather on Monday was "constructive". Mr Campbell said he would raise the project at a major event in Brussels. As one of the key speakers at the EU's Sustainable Energy Week, he will argue that European environmental designations were not supposed to stop all development in island communities.
28 Jan 2008

March of the wind farm in doubt on a divided island

Yesterday, the "naes" could scent victory in the air when the Scottish Government wrote to the developer, Ameco, saying it was "minded to refuse" planning permission. However, ministers gave the company 21 days to address the concerns listed in a 14-page letter. The fate of the Lewis wind farm is far from just a barrage of hot air among island folk. It goes to the heart of Scotland's attempt to generate 50 per cent of its electricity using renewables, such as hydro, wave or wind power, by 2020.
26 Jan 2008

Fury at wind farm decision blunder

There was outrage last night after the Scottish Government issued a press release stating permission had been granted for a massive wind farm in rural Perthshire-only to claim 16 minutes later there had been an "administrative error." The astonishing blunder left campaigners both devastated and deeply suspicious. Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser last night called for a "full investigation." An application for the huge 68-turbine Griffin wind farm close to Aberfeldy was previously rejected by Perth and Kinross Council following massive public opposition. A public inquiry was then held and the final decision lies with ministers. The bizarre drama began when the Scottish Government distributed a press release headed "Green light for Scotland's third largest wind farm."
25 Jan 2008
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