Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Europe

Wind farm inquiry halted

A public inquiry in to the future of a controversial wind farm has been dramatically halted. The move follows claims by Prestwick Airport that developer AMEC was warned more than four years ago that their massive wind turbines could compromise air safety in the skies above Ayrshire. Airport chiefs allege that the power company made no attempt to find a solution and ploughed on with their planning application to East Ayrshire Council regardless. Last minute attempts by AMEC to retrieve the situation, including the offer of a new radar system, were knocked back by airport bosses, who insist that it will not solve the problem. The inquiry into the plan to build 85 huge 400ft turbines in the Kyle Forest at Dalmellington has been adjourned until June to allow further time for AMEC to convince the airport that they can build turbines without compromising safety. A spokesman for Prestwick Airport told the inquiry: "It is about the most unsafe place for a wind farm that it would be possible to conceive." The spokesman added: "AMEC's persistence regardless has involved us and the general public in huge expense and time, and we will be seeking recovery of expenses from AMEC." The wind farm application has attracted 4600 letters of objection and has been turned down twice by East Ayrshire Council.
21 Mar 2007

Plans for Wind Farm Thrown Out

Plans for a small-scale windfarm on the outskirts of Stonehaven were yesterday thrown out by councillors due to air safety concerns. Councillors from the Kincardine and Mearns area committee agreed in principle with the proposal to build four 256ft wind turbines on agricultural land at Clochnahill, four miles south of Stonehaven, but agreed that public safety was paramount.
21 Mar 2007

Large scale wind farms on land not justified, Government says

VALLETTA, Malta (di-ve news) -- March 21, 2007 -- 1115CET -- The construction of a large scale wind farm on land would not be justified when considering its impact and the electricity generated, Minister Ninu Zammit said. In reply to a parliamentary question by Opposition MP Charles Mangion on Tuesday, the Minister for Resources and Infrastructure tabled the report compiled by Mott MacDonald on 'Renewable Energy in Malta'. Minister Zammit said the report studied a number of sites on land for the generation of electricity from wind and the impacts associated with such wind farms. When considering such impacts, and in view of the fact that such a wind farm would only generate 1.06 per cent of electricity consumption in 2010, the Government concluded that the construction of large scale wind farms on land would not be justified.
21 Mar 2007

Wind farm decision will depend on size

There was speculation last night over who will make the final decision on a major Northumberland wind farm. The proposal from Amec for the 20-turbine Ray wind farm will be debated tonight by Tynedale councillors. The 2,600-hectare site is between the villages of Ridsdale and East Woodburn, Knowesgate, Kirkwhelpington and Great Bavington. Each of the 125m turbines has a generating capacity of three megawatts, and so the 20 add up to 60MW. This takes it over the 50MW mark where applications go to the Department of Trade and Industry for a decision. But councillors will be recommended to make no objection - subject to the removal of four turbines next to the sensitive landscape of Great Wanney Crag.
21 Mar 2007

Ruling cuts beauty-spot wind turbines down to size

A CLAMPDOWN on the number and the height of wind turbines in Midlothian has been approved by councillors. The move puts in doubt plans by energy giant E.ON UK to build 18 wind turbines with a maximum height of 102 metres at the popular Auchencorth Moss beauty spot near Penicuik. The project would provide an alternative source of power for 22,000 homes but has attracted fierce opposition from locals who have lodged 2337 objections against the development. This led Midlothian Council and Scottish Natural Heritage to commission a wider study into the impact of wind farms on Midlothian's landscape, which has recommended that a number of restrictions are imposed. The study concludes there is nowhere suitable in Midlothian for wind turbines over a height of 30 metres, or for more than five of them in one location. Councillors at yesterday's Midlothian Council cabinet meeting approved the recommendations. The land earmarked for the wind farm is on a country estate owned by Sir Robert Clerk, and is a designated site of special scientific interest, containing a bog with rare types of moss and plant life. It is near Gladhouse Reservoir, which attracts large numbers of a rare breed of geese.
21 Mar 2007

Public to have a say over plan for new wind farm

AN ENERGY company is to hold a public meeting over plans to create a new wind farm near Penistone less than a month after councillors approved controversial plans for a similar development. E.ON UK wants to install three wind turbines on a site at Blackstone Edge and has organised a public exhibition at Crow Edge Community Centre next Tuesday and Wednesday of exactly what they propose. Barnsley Council approved plans for three turbines on the edge of the Hepworths' site near Crow Edge, despite 480 letters of objections and concerns raised by Dunford Parish Council. That application was made by Banks Developments and brought to a close more than a decade of wrangling over wind turbines on the site, which is close to an existing 13-turbine development, above Thurlstone at Royd Moor.
21 Mar 2007

Wind turbines plan for S Yorks skyline

CONTROVERSIAL wind turbines up to 50 metres high could be placed in Sheffield's countryside to generate green power for city homes. Four possible sites have been identified on private land at Hesley Wood, Chapeltown and Smithy Wood, Ecclesfield, and council land at Westwood Country Park, Tankersley and at Butterthwaite Farm, Ecclesfield.
21 Mar 2007

Concern over plans for new windfarms

The environmental impact of plans for three giant offshore windfarms on the Norfolk coast should be considered together rather than one by one, council officials will warn this week. County councillors are being urged to register formal objections to one giant offshore site on the Greater Wash amid concerns about potential damage to Norfolk's coastline and because the details of two more offshore wind farms have yet to be revealed. Officials are concerned that the sites should not be looked at individually - arguing instead for a comprehensive study to look at the impact of all three sites.
20 Mar 2007

Congham turbine protestors draw up battle plan

Villagers opposed to controversial plans for 26 wind turbines at Congham are to set up an action group following a well-attended public meeting this week. More than 250 people from Congham and surrounding villages crammed into the meeting at Grimston church on Monday to find out more about the scheme and its potential impact on communities. Jeff Compton, chairman of Congham Parish Council, which organised the meeting, believes not one person at the event approved of the plans. "We had tried to find one person to talk at the meeting who was in favour to keep it balanced, but we couldn't find anyone," he said afterwards.
19 Mar 2007

Offshore windfarm boost

Ministers are planning to boost efforts to establish large numbers of windfarms off the Westcountry coast in a bid to massively increase the amount of renewable energy that the region produces. Rules for licensing offshore turbines and tidal power generators are expected to be relaxed as part of a series of measures to tackle the threat of global warming. But the moves will be coupled with extra protection for the most endangered marine habitats, with up to 90 "no-go" zones across the country. Falmouth Bay in Cornwall and Lyme Bay in Devon are among the areas which could be considered for the new protections.
17 Mar 2007

Green light for £50 million Lothians wind farm

PLANS for a £50 million wind farm in the Lothians featuring 100-metre-high turbines have been given the green light by council chiefs. The massive project will provide power for 35,000 homes and displace 150,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Cheshire-based Community Windpower applied to erect 16 turbines at Aikengall, about six miles south of Dunbar. Planning chiefs at East Lothian Council granted permission this week after up to £5m of local investment was promised by the firm. Under the proposal, the company will offer residents the chance to purchase shares in the project and reap dividends. Rod Wood, director of Community Windpower, said: "This is a groundbreaking initiative and the first of its kind in the UK." But critics have attacked the scheme - which would be situated on a site of special scientific interest in the Lammermuir Hills that is home to rare flora and fauna -- and claimed it would be a blight on the landscape. The Scottish Executive has set a target of generating 20 per cent of Scotland's electricity through renewable sources by 2010.
17 Mar 2007

Storm rages on in the debate over wind farms in Wexford

he wind of change is unlikely to blow hard through the corridors of power at Wexford County Council next month, when members meet to chart the future direction of wind energy in the Model County. No aspect of the 2007-2013 County Development Plan is more contentious than the issue of wind farms. Their backers are keen to make easy profits out of a burgeoning industry that loudly proclaims its Green credentials. At the other end of the spectrum, however, are the NIMBYS, the Not In My Back Yard brigade, and those who see everyone else's back yard as their own, who view towering turbines as a blot on the landscape that cause more environmental harm than energy good. Whatever the various lobby groups say, the county council is constrained by national policy that means however loud the shouting, and there is a lot of it, Wexford is unlikely to chart any course that will lead to it being out of step with the omnipotent Department of the Environment.
17 Mar 2007

Council goes on defensive over planning ‘steamroller’ claims

TYNEDALE COUNCIL has defended its increased use of delegated powers to determine planning applications, following accusations that it is seeking to ignore local views and steamroller through controversial decisions. The council has made around 700 decisions out of 800 applications this financial year through its delegation scheme, whereby proposals are judged by officers rather than its development control committee. Since a revision of the delegation scheme last May the use of this system has risen to cover 88 per cent of decisions. One recent instance involved an application for a wind monitoring mast at Plenmeller.
17 Mar 2007

Strathy vote goes against wind farm

PEOPLE living close to the site of a proposed major north coast wind farm have voted to oppose the development. Two-thirds of those who responded were against Scottish and Southern Energy's 35-turbine venture on the north side of Strathy Forest. The poll was undertaken by Strathy and Armadale Community Council, which will now be lodging a formal objection.
16 Mar 2007

Campaigners unite against wind turbines

Villagers have vowed to fight as hard as they can to block the construction of two wind turbines proposed for the Castle Cary area. At a packed meeting in Hadspen village hall last Friday night an action group gathered worried residents together to mount a campaign to stop the turbines being built at Ansford Community School and on farmland between Hadspen and Pitcombe. They are hoping their fight will be on scale with Save the Vale, one of the most successful and high-profile battles against the renewable technology which was witnessed at Cucklington four years ago. "We see these proposals as an aggressive assault on the Hadspen and Ansford community," group chairman Alan Whittaker told his audience. "The wind turbines are only 1.3 miles apart and constitute a mini wind farm. We need to combine resources and operate together as much as possible to oppose them." He said 50 people were already on board and the group was still growing. They were consulting experts and organisations, and looking for donations to fund the campaign.
16 Mar 2007

Big objections to Silloth windfarm

More than 600 people have objected to plans to build a £10 million four-turbine wind farm at Hellrigg near Silloth. Npower applied in January for the farm at Park Head Farm, as it is also known. A previous wind farm application was refused two years ago. Eighty five people attended a recent meeting arranged by Holme Low parish council at the Golf Hotel, Silloth, with all but one declaring themselves against the plans.
16 Mar 2007

Turbines could be axed in 25 years

Shetland's proposed forest of wind turbines could be chopped down after 25 years if wave or tidal power emerge as better ways to generate renewable energy. The knowledge that Viking Energy's plantation of 192 turbines may only dominate the skyline for a generation rather than forever could help sway people who are turning against the windfarm because of its sheer size and visual impact. The ability to scale down or remove the windfarm at the end of its 25-year planning consent was confirmed by company director and SIC councillor Bill Manson on Friday at a press day prior to the project going out to public consultation this week. He said: "Shetland will have had time to get used to wind turbines and decide whether we like them or not."
16 Mar 2007

Call to reject advice on windfarms

A windfarm objector is encouraging Tynedale councillors to reject the advice of their own officials. The council's development control committee is being asked for its views on Amec's planning application to install 16 wind turbines in the Kirkwhelpington area. Tynedale's planners have advised councillors there are no grounds for objection to the application, which is currently under consideration by the Department for Trade and Industry. That is on the proviso that proposals for a further four turbines near the famous Wanney Crags are withdrawn, as recommended in an independent environmental survey carried out by the Arup consultancy. Campaigner Peter Bennet, who lives near the Wanney Crags, welcomed the news that plans for those four turbines were likely to be withdrawn, but he encouraged Tynedale councillors to use their own judgement with regard to the rest. He said: "How can they not lodge an objection when so many others, who they represent, have objected? "Northumberland National Park, the RSPB, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and Newcastle Airport, among others, are against this, as well as over 150 residents." Tynedale Council's development control committee will consider the matter on Wednesday.
16 Mar 2007

Call to halt decision on windfarm

Protesters are pushing for Clackmannanshire Council to defer a decision on a controversial windfarm until the end of a public inquiry covering nearby turbine plans. A combined push by concerned groups is asking Scottish ministers to intervene on a planning decision for Burnfoot Hill which is due to be taken by Wee County councillors on March 28. They say any decision should be put off until the public inquiry surrounding four other wind farms on the Ochils - the same range as Burnfoot Hill - is completed. The inquiry is currently hearing the cumulative impact of the four windfarm plans, which, combined with an already-approved windfarm near Glendevon, would cover the Ochils in windfarms, say the protesters
16 Mar 2007
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