Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Europe
Following a stormy debate, senators voted in favour of mayors obtaining the right to veto wind farm projects with the aim of promoting “social acceptability of wind farms, with a view to ensuring harmonious development, i.e. more in tune with the territories and their inhabitants”.
In a joint letter to Scottish Government ministers with responsibility for transport, electricity transmission, rural economy and tourism, South Knapdale and Tarbert and Skipness community councils joined forces with their five Kintyre equivalents to express concern at the pace and size of wind farm developments on valuable landscapes. They also claim some windfarm developers have recently ignored Scottish Government advice on providing community benefits – cash for local organisations – and shared community ownership.
Western Isles Planning Applications Board backed a recommendation for Scottish Ministers that there is no need for a public inquiry into Stornoway Wind Farm proposals.
One of these concerns relates to the suitability of certain areas for such developments in terms of the landscape or proximity to houses and farmland, other concerns involve the size of turbines and the environmental impact assessments. Sinn Féin TD for Kildare South Patricia Ryan said there needs to be progress on the publishing of revised guidelines, as the public consultation on these finished almost a year ago.
A government proposal on Friday to slow down the development of onshore wind power comes after increasing local resistance mirrors sentiment in other European countries. Norway already decided to scrap a plan for a new permission framework last year.
The government also said it would better take into account turbines’ impact on the landscape and reindeer husbandry, and give more say to municipalities in approving new projects. “In the future, we will facilitate a limited and more moderate wind power development than we currently see,” Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru told a news conference.
A three-day online public inquiry will take place over the planned compulsory purchase (CPO) of land, including part of Carnoustie’s famous golf links, for work associated with what will become Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm.
With V, SD, M and KD of the council in agreement, the municipality will excercise its veto power on Monday thereby halting futher investigation of the Land and Environmental Court on building the Utposten 1 wind farm outside the Norrsundet.
Revised arrangements have been put in place by Orkney Islands Council for consulting with the public on proposed plans for a wind farm development in Hoy...The project is part of a project which also includes proposed wind farm developments at Quanterness and on Faray in the North Isles.
The meeting in Mountmellick heard concerns about the height of the turbines, the noise they make and the flicker effect on nearby dwellings. Health and safety of the people in the surrounding areas was also high on the agenda. A number of people said the company did not consult widely and that a booklet distributed to some residents contained information “not conveying the true state of serious side effects from such monstrosities”.
On Friday, Mr Justice Simons said the developer was precluded by law from re-agitating the argument that the as built turbines are authorised by a 2011 planning permission. The developer had a full opportunity to make its case before the board and it did not challenge the decision they were not exempt under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, he said. The developer could not, therefore, reopen the board’s findings in the High Court proceedings.
The Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that a district council acted unlawfully when, in granting planning permission for a wind turbine, it took into account a proposed donation to a local community fund. ..."they were proffered as a general inducement to the Council to grant planning permission and constituted a method of seeking to buy the permission sought, in breach of the principle that planning permission cannot be bought or sold."
Onshore wind continues to be held back by the insistence of chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party on fixing the minimum distance between wind turbines and residential housing at 1,000 metres. This move will "massively cut back the area available for wind energy", said the BEE. "It will throw regional and federal state planning [for wind energy] into chaos and endanger the whole wind sector," said Hermann Albers, president of BWE, the federal wind energy association.
“It is grossly irresponsible and neglectful to be considering planning applications on guidelines that are 13 years old. “Communities have been torn apart and destroyed by some of these applications and it is extremely unfair to allow this continue,” the Kerry councillor concluded.
Sweeping distance rules for onshore wind could further reduce already scarce land resources and impede reaching the wind expansion necessary for Germany’s renewable energy targets, a new study by the country’s environmental agency (UBA) found.
“What the Government is looking at, at the moment, if we fail to reach our targets for 2020, which we will, is paying out anything between €400m and €600m to the European Commission in fines because we failed to reach our renewable energy targets,” he said.
RBC is already facing a £20 million black hole after the scheme was blocked
More significantly, the drafted proposals also retain the mandatory minimum setback distance of 500m for wind turbine construction near residential homes, something Fitzmaurice does not think will sit well with local communities. “People won’t stand for what they are proposing and won’t accept the 500m setback area. I would expect people to lodge a submission against them,” He continued.
A Highland community leader has called for an extra planning condition to prevent the extension of a windfarm should it be permitted following a public inquiry.
The proposed wind farm comprises 38 turbines with a hub height of up to 80 metres, each with a 2.5 -3.5 (MW) rating, on foundations and standings. The turbines will have a rotor diameter of up to 112 metres. The overall height of the structures will be up to 126 meters.