Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Europe
Britain will be forced to build thousands more wind turbines in the countryside under a Brussels edict to be announced tomorrow. Energy experts say new EU climate change targets mean the UK will have to generate 40 per cent of its electricity from green sources within 12 years. In order to meet that target, the number of wind turbines on the land would have to rise fourfold. Thousands more would be needed at sea. The move would be one of the greatest engineering projects in years - and dramatically change the skyline of Britain and its coastal waters.
Villagers are being urged to pen their objections to show "the strength of feeling" against a proposed 50-metre mast for Elvington. Parish councillors have lodged their opposition to Yorkshire Water's bid to install a wind monitoring mast at its water treatment plant at Elvington. Now they are urging residents to follow suit by appealing to City of York Council. The council also claims residents have been given "insufficient opportunity to comment". Fears have also been raised about how quality of life could be affected by potential noise, flickering shadows and strobe effect' caused by the mast, as well as concerns about the impact on local birdlife.
The Ministry of Defence has been accused of trying to put a "blanket ban" on onshore windfarm development in East Anglia. And in the wake of a succession of high-profile MoD objections to turbines on the grounds of radar interference, leading developers warned they could be forced to scrap future windfarm plans in the region - at great cost to the local economy - unless the planning climate changes. Representatives of four regional companies, Wind Power Renewables, Mellinsus Renewables, SLP Energy and Enertrag UK, will lobby MPs and officials for less prohibitive planning procedures. ...An MOD spokesman said: "We fully support the government's renewable energy policies and targets, and treat each windfarm case on its merits. Objections are only raised when absolutely necessary, and we will always engage with landowners and developers to try to find solutions to any concerns we may have. "However it is vital that we protect our air defence and air traffic control radar from interference from any development which would unacceptably jeopardise national security or the safe movement of aircraft."
OPPONENTS of a controversial wind-farm development in the county are claiming a victory for democracy following the plan's rejection by local Highland councillors. Caithness Windfarm Information Forum's spokesman Stuart Young yesterday said a strong feeling among local residents against Baillie Wind Farm Ltd's proposals had made a significant difference to the area planning committee's verdict. "We're obviously very pleased with the decision but we're also encouraged by a number of other things," he said. "To have a successful campaign against any wind farm, it has to be led by the people who live there. The groundswell of opinion among local residents against the proposal is what made the difference." ...Scottish ministers will be notified of the committee's decision and it is likely that a public inquiry will be held into the application. As the development is over 50MW, the final decision lies with Holyrood.
An SNP MSP has expressed concern about the visual impact of wind farm developments in his constituency. Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford said it was vital new developments did not "diminish an area's scenic character". His comments come despite the Scottish Government's much publicised support for wind-generated energy. Stirling Council has given the go-ahead for three wind farm projects across the local area. A forth is currently being considered. At present the district hosts a prominent 36-turbine wind farm at Braes of Doune and an almost completed 15-turbine development at Earlsburn.
A CONTROVERSIAL wind farm site near Brent Knoll has been refused by the planning inspectorate. The controversial plans to build five wind turbines at a site off Stoddens Lane was rejected by planning inspector Robin Brooks today (Tues). ...Proposals for the five turbines were first rejected by Sedgemoor District Council, but then the company decide to appeal the decision.
BRENT Knoll villagers and councillors were celebrating today (Tuesday) after learning the appeal bid to build a wind farm near the Knoll has been turned down. Renewable energy company Ecotricity lodged the appeal after Sedgemoor District Council originally rejected plans to construct five wind turbines at land at Inner Farm in Edithmead. A two-week long public inquiry began in November and a decision was finally reached yesterday as the Weekly News went to press. Deputy mayor, Cllr Neville Jones speaking on behalf of Burnham and Highbridge town council said he was "extremely pleased" with the outcome and was glad the planning inspector agreed with the authority's viewpoint.
A plan to ensure communities in Alnwick district benefit financially if wind farms are built was given the green light this week, amid claims of blackmail. Alnwick District Council backed a framework to make sure funding from developers is directed to areas most affected. ...If approved, developer npower renewables pledges to contribute £1.3million to a community fund over the 25-year lifespan of the plant. Committee vice-chairman Coun Hugh Philipson said: "I don't like blackmail and in my opinion this is a form of blackmail." Paul Gee, the council's director of environment and regeneration, said: "This has nothing to do with blackmail and buying planning permission but is about us being ready and prepared if a wind farm is approved. "This is about us being in a position of strength rather than on the back foot."
Yesterday airport head of planning and corporate affairs Graeme Mason said he would be asking Ministers to ‘call in' the application and hold a public inquiry because of the unresolved safety concerns. Site owner Hainsford Energy wants to replace the existing nine turbines at Blyth Harbour with the seven much bigger and more powerful machines to create a facility capable of powering 11,600 homes. Approval was granted by Wansbeck's regulatory committee on Tuesday night, despite a last-minute plea by Newcastle Airport that it would be ‘quite wrong' to give the scheme the green light. The new turbines will be built along Blyth's East Pier and at Battleship Wharf near Cambois. Yesterday Mr Mason said: "I have already been in contact with Government Office for the North-East to formally request that the application is called in by the Secretary of State. It is looking increasingly likely that we will be arguing this issue at a public inquiry.
But Ian Bailey, chairman of Elvington Parish Council said he was very worried about the prospect of wind turbines in the village. He said: "I'm extremely concerned that there is the possibility of a wind farm being located only 300 metres away from a residential area and in particular because these wind farms have generators that are 90 metres high which is almost the height of Big Ben." Coun Bailey said he had been to see the wind turbines at Loftsome Bridge and described them as "horrendous". But he added that there are very few homes at that site, whereas in Elvington the turbines would be visible from hundreds of homes.
EUROPE'S tallest onshore wind turbine so far is on its way to the Northumberland coastline after plans for a major new wind farm were given the green light last night. The monster machine - which will tower 163 metres from base to blade tip and be more than twice as high as Nelson's Column - will be built on the north bank of the River Blyth at Battleship Wharf, near the village of Cambois. It will be one of seven new turbines ...Airport officials say the situation could force them to re-route aircraft away from the structures, and claim that safety fears mean the application should be rejected. However, councillors agreed to grant permission after being told that the airport has been unable to produce any technical evidence to support its concerns.
A DECISION to keep on pushing for a public inquiry into plans for a 250-turbine windfarm off Llandudno has met a mixed reaction. Councillors in Conwy have voted to carry on opposing plans for one of Europe's largest wind farms, Gwynt y Mor. They also want a public inquiry. The decision, at a special meeting on Friday, comes after npower Renewables submitted new plans to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. The plans included bringing the turbines closer, to cut the scheme's size by 16%.
Plans to build the country's biggest wind turbine off the Northumberland coast are set to be approved by councillors. If approved the project will see seven new turbines on the north site of the River Blyth to replace the existing Blyth Harbour wind farm. Six of the turbines will tower 125m from base to blade tip while the seventh, planned for the Battleship Wharf site at Cambois, would measure a total of 163m in height - the country's biggest to date. ...Blyth Valley Borough Council has already said it will not object to the project. The turbines will be more than three times bigger than the current structures and much more powerful.
There must be a shake-up of the application system for wind farms to prevent time and money being wasted, it was claimed today. Tory deputy leader Murdo Fraser said that there were "no real guidelines" to show developers which sites were appropriate. This has led to a "barrage" of applications being submitted for sites in Perthshire and the Stirling area that should not be considered, the mid-Scotland and Fife MSP claimed. Much time and money were then wasted by both the developers and anti-wind farm campaigners confronting each other, when no application should have been made in the first place, he said.
PLANS for a South Yorkshire wind farm could be blown away - unless a power company comes up with an urgent background noise report. Councillors are due to consider an application by Cornwall LIght and Power to build three 95-metre high wind turbines at Loscar Farm, Harthill, on the border of Sheffield and Rotherham, on January 31. But the company has been told that unless it supplies a report on projected background noise from the turbines the application could be refused. Campaigners have already opposed the wind farm plans on the grounds the turbines will be a blot on the landscape and because of possible noise nuisance.
Villages could be “bribed” into backing wind farm applications as councillors consider forcing renewable energy groups to set up a community fund in exchange for planning permission. Alnwick Council is looking into a scheme which could see around £100,000 a year paid to residents’ groups in return for planning permission for even small wind farms. The money would come from community fund conditions attached to any renewable energy companies given the green light to build turbines in Northumberland.
Wind turbines could go up on the doorstep of an airfield and close to houses and businesses in Tynedale. Irish-based Pure Renewable Energy is investigating a number of sites near Stocksfield and Hedley-on-the-Hill which would be suitable for windfarms. Land adjacent to Northumberland Gliding Club’s 88-acre base at Currock Hill, near Hedley, has been earmarked. ...The suggested locations have been described as “crazy” by the chairman of Hedley-on-the Hill Parish Council. Coun. Dr. Richard Penny said: “The whole thing is bizarre. They are proposing to put 100 metre high turbines alongside the gliding club runway. “Another is alongside the eighth green at Stocksfield Golf Club. In my opinion, the proposed sites are totally crazy. They are near businesses and houses.”
The company behind plans to build a wind farm north of Alnwick has launched a legal challenge that could cost taxpayers £75,000. npower renewables has lodged a formal claim in the High Court seeking an order that a planning policy or Alnwick Core Strategy Development Plan Document be quashed and the council pay its legal costs in the proceedings. A public inquiry into the proposals for 18 turbines at Middlemoor, near North Charlton, finished last month.
Apologies to the villagers living in the shadow of Lincolnshire's biggest wind farm park have been made by councillors. Residents in Conisholme deserved an apology, members of East Lindsey District Council said, after mistakes made by the planning department. That was the verdict of an extraordinary council meeting, when councillors agreed to have an investigation by the District Auditor. It followed a review by a firm of lawyers, Pinsent Mason, who highlighted a catalogue of procedural mistakes by planning officers. The main one was that they had failed to notify planning councillors of a landscape assessment in their deliberations over an application by energy firm Ecotricity to build 20 89m-high wind turbines on Fen lane, Conisholme.
Controversial plans to create an eight turbine wind farm in the Carron Valley in rural Stirling have been given the go-ahead by the council. ...Despite the promise of payment, the wind farm plan caused divisions among Carron Valley's residents. Planning officials had originally recommended the application be refused. Scottish Natural Heritage also objected to the visual impact of the wind farm. Scotia Wind said if the plans to construct eight turbines 125m in height, a new access road, bridge, electricity sub-station and meteorological monitoring mast went ahead, they would pay an index-linked cash windfall of £48,000 a year to the local community.