Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Europe

Challenge to wind farm scheme

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.
27 Dec 2007

We must apologise to the residents...'

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.
21 Dec 2007

Wind farm plan leads to windfall

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.
20 Dec 2007

Huff and puff can't stop wind farm

Plans to build a wind farm near Emberton have scraped through despite local opposition. Seven turbines are to be built on Petsoe Manor Farm, near Emberton. ...Peter Geary, of BLEW, said: "The committee last night ruined one of the greatest resources Milton Keynes has. This is the largest unspoilt area of Milton Keynes, the most tranquil place the city has. The footpaths will be ruined and the horse riders won't be able to use the bridal ways as the turbines will be too close." BLEW is considering an appeal.
19 Dec 2007

'No-win situation' as wind gets the nod

The seven 406ft turbines planned at Petsoe End, Emberton, were given the go-ahead by the city planning committee. But it was anything but a breeze for supporters of the Your Energy project - with councillors split six-five on the crucial vote. ...Cllr Isabella Fraser said: "The council is caught between a rock and a hard place. We are in a no-win situation." She complained of "email harassment" by supporters of the scheme and attacked those in the public gallery for "extremely immature" behaviour in waving placards.
19 Dec 2007

Ballot papers go out on Baillie turbines proposal

THE first batch of ballot papers were yesterday dispatched to residents who live closest to the proposed site of a contentious 21-turbine wind farm west of Thurso. Caithness West Community Council is surveying the 1000-or-so electors in its patch to find out whether they support or oppose the 57.5 megawatt development. The timing is particularly sensitive as Baillie Wind Farm Ltd's scheme for farmland near Shebster is being tabled at a Highland Council hearing next month. The community council is among the objectors to the proposal, which would add to the existing nearby six-turbine cluster at Forss. But it is pledging to reflect the feedback of the vote in its representation.
14 Dec 2007

Wind farm protesters use blimps to show scale of problem

WIND farm protest groups flew three large blimps on Tuesday to demonstrate to councillors the height and cumulative effects of turbines at three proposed wind farm sites. ...A spokesman for SOUL said: "The very short warning we had of the site visit prevented us from flying the Barmoor blimp as close to the turbine sites as we would have liked, but we hope that councillors will get an idea of the scale of turbines in this unspoiled landscape." The action groups are opposing plans for seven 110m (360ft) turbines at Moorsyde, near West Allerdean, seven 112m (367ft) turbines at Toft Hill, near Grindon and six 110.5m (362ft) turbines between Barmoor Castle and Roughting Linn. All three balloons will be flying again on Saturday, December 15. Berwick Borough Council have said that they expect to decide all three applications early in the New Year.
13 Dec 2007

Denbighshire man's plan scuppered by windfarm

A BUSINESSMAN who wants to open an eco-friendly holiday village could have his plans scuppered - because officials would rather build a windfarm. ...A little-known planning rule wipes out development from areas around windfarms, which are being encouraged as the future of environmentally friendly energy production across Wales. ...WAG guidance states "local authorities should be aware that other developments could sterilise land for wind power proposals." A report to go before Denbighshire's planning committee today says it would therefore be "inappropriate" to grant permission for the cabins - which ironically, would be powered by small turbines.
12 Dec 2007

Turbine plans recommended for approval

Controversial plans for wind turbines in Swaffham and Sporle are being recommended for approval despite strong objections from the Ministry of Defence. Breckland planning officers have backed Next Generation's application to build six turbines on land off Sporle Road, even though the MoD has argued the development could cause a national security risk. The MoD fears the turbines would affect the air defence radar at Trimingham, and the air traffic control radars at RAF Marham and RAF Lakenheath.
10 Dec 2007

Wind farm decision pushed back two weeks

The decision on whether a controversial wind farm will be built near Brent Knoll has been delayed by at least a fortnight. The planning inspectorate told the Weston & Somerset Mercury this week that the final decision, which was due to be announced on November 23, could be another two or three weeks. The decision is about plans to build five wind turbines at a farm off Stoddens Lane near the Somerset village.
7 Dec 2007

Plans to add turbines to wind farm

Plans to add seven more turbines to the county's only wind farm have been submitted, but villagers say the 100 metre-high turbines will be too close to their homes. Burton Wold Wind Farm in Burton Latimer could be extended to 17 turbines after plans were put forward. The £15m project could see the additional turbines providing electricity for a further 7,200 homes in Kettering borough over 25 years. The turbines would be sited less than a mile from Cranford and Burton Latimer. ...Joy Beeby is a resident of Cranford and a member of the parish council. She said: "I am not at all keen. I'm not anti-wind farms but I think that Cranford has enough to put up with at the moment with the threat of thousands of homes being built near the village.
7 Dec 2007

Wind power firm's criticism of MoD

One of Britain's largest green energy companies has damned the MoD as being "biggest single obstacle to wind power in the UK" after it opposed a second Norfolk wind farm. The future of wind energy in the county was thrown into doubt last night after it emerged that the MoD has raised concerns over Ecotricity's plans for six turbines between Sporle and Swaffham. The MoD says that trials conducted in 2004 and 2005 on the effects of wind turbines on radar systems identified that even solitary turbines can significantly reduce operational effectiveness when in line of sight.
6 Dec 2007

Wind farm planners made series of errors

A damning report into the handling of a planning application to build Lincolnshire's biggest wind farm said council officers committed a catalogue of errors. It said planners at East Lindsey District Council made mistakes in dealing with the 20-turbine wind farm at Conisholme, near Louth. ...Lawyers said officers "inappropriately" concluded the benefits of the turbines outweighed any harm to the landscape. They also criticised the lack of minutes taken from crucial meetings about the application. The role of ELDC chief executive Nigel Howells came under the spotlight as he stepped in at the October planning meeting to provide "senior officer presence" because there was no monitoring officer or legal adviser. That was despite him being "closely involved" through correspondence with both Ecotricity and the objectors.
4 Dec 2007

You've wasted our time, firm is told

OPPONENTS of a proposal to build a wind farm on a Northumberland moor yesterday handed a bill for about £60,000 to the applicant, after deeming a public inquiry a waste of time. Save Northumberland's Environment (Sane) said npower renewables should not have pursued its application to erect 18 125m turbines at Middlemoor, near South Charlton in Alnwick district, all the way to the hearing. The group said npower had known about the Ministry of Defence's opposition to its plan on aviation grounds for several years, which members say made a costly public inquiry pointless. Sane had invested in the region of £60,000 opposing the proposals at the hearing on the grounds that the turbines would irreparably harm scenic countryside.
4 Dec 2007

'Smaller is better' on Western Isles wind farm

A plan to build a major wind farm on Lewis should be allowed to go ahead, but on a much smaller scale, Western Isles councillors decided yesterday. Scottish & Southern Energy had wanted to put up 125 turbines - each nearly 500ft tall - at Pairc in South Lochs, but later reduced this to 57 bigger and more powerful generators. However, yesterday the council's environment and protective services committee backed only 26 of these, saying the other 31 were in unsuitable sites. A spokesman for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar - Western Isles Council - said: "We are not saying it has to be 26. If they could resite some of these turbines, the council was open to that."
4 Dec 2007

Hearing on 21-turbine wind farm

Planners have recommended councillors do not oppose a proposed wind farm which has sparked concerns for wild geese and archaeological sites. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has objected to the 21-turbine scheme at Shebster, near Thurso. Historic Scotland said it would have an "unacceptable adverse impact" on ancient sites including cairns. The Scottish Government is consulting local Highland councillors, who will hold a hearing on Tuesday.
3 Dec 2007

Wind Farm Inquiry Day 12

"Wind turbines, by their scale and movement, are the most visually intrusive of all developments. "The applicant has chosen a site visible from a wide range of the most sensitive and valued locations in Northumberland, and has elected to apply for a number and scale of turbines which are inappropriate for this landscape." On the matter of MoD objections over the impact on radar at RAF Brizlee Wood, she added: "Unless the laws of physics are overturned, this development cannot go ahead and permit Brizlee Wood air defence radar to function. "Such immutable laws are not overturned.
3 Dec 2007

Damning wind turbines report released

report into the handling of a planning application to build Lincolnshire's biggest wind farm has been released. Planners at East Lindsey District Council made a catalogue of errors in dealing with the 20-turbine wind farm at Conisholme. It was first refused and then later approved by East Lindsey District planners in 2005.
3 Dec 2007

Wind farm inquiry: closing arguments

"The Ministry of Defence expresses its strongest possible opposition to this proposal. "The one and only basis of its opposition is that this proposal will have a serious adverse effect on the operation and effectiveness of the Air Defence Radar System of the United Kingdom through its effect upon the radar at Brizlee Wood." The Ministry of Defence also submitted a condition to the inquiry, that, should the wind farm proposal be approved by inspector Alan Novitzky, the ultimate decision on the erection of the wind farm should lie with the Air Officer of Battleship movement, who is described as the "person best capable of making the judgement as to the effect upon the efficacy on the air defence system caused by the proposed development".
29 Nov 2007

Councillors vote down wind farm permission

Councillors in Conwy have voted to refuse planning permission for the development of a windfarm near Cerrigydrudion. Mwdwl Eithin, situated in the heart of the countryside, was the proposed site of a 12 turbine wind farm by developer Nuon, but at the last planning meeting county councillors decided not to grant the application. Their decision went against the recommendation of local authority planning officers, but represented the views of the majority of local residents. ..."Wind farms should only be developed when they are supported by local communities. "Everyone would agree for the need for more sustainable and renewable energy and wind power certainly has a role to play, but there must be sensitivity to the effects of wind farms on local communities and their impact on the countryside, particularly in relation to tourism."
29 Nov 2007
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