Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from UK
Despite more than 370 letters of objection and a refusal by the council's planning committee, a Scottish Government Reporter has upheld an appeal lodged by energy company Airtricity, and granted permission for 10 wind turbines. Scottish Borders Council's voted last July to reject the application - proposed on land located past Blawearie, above Whitslade - on the grounds that it would have an unacceptable impact on the landscape. Although this was a decision which backed a local campaign, it opposed planning officers' original recommendations and led to a public enquiry at Selkirk Rugby Club. But after studying all the submissions, the Reporter has finally ruled that the development can go ahead.
Parish councillors are calling on district planners to refuse a controversial application by green power company Enertrag UK to build a wind farm at Hempnall. The Diss-based firm is seeking consent to site seven 125m high turbines on land at Bussey's Loke, in the south Norfolk village near Norwich, to supply renewable energy for the National Grid. But the scheme has sparked fierce opposition from local residents who claim the development would create a huge visual impact on Hempnall and surrounding villages, and have set up campaign group Showt (Stop Hempnall's Onshore Wind Turbines).
The wind farm, proposed for the former Parham Airfield, near Framlingham, was granted planning permission more than two years ago - subject to conditions being met. However, earlier this year opponents of the scheme obtained a High Court judgement that conditions had not been fully met - because Suffolk Coastal District Council failed to consult over a proposed change in turbine design. The council consequently launched a new consultation over two alternative designs put forward by developer, Your Energy. A report to the development control on May 28 recommends that both designs be approved. The recommendation is partly based on assessments of potential environmental impact.
A wind farm has been given the go-ahead despite a local campaign to keep the turbines out of an area of unspoilt countryside. Plans to build the £25 million development at Langhope Rig, an area of countryside three miles west of Ashkirk in the Borders, were cleared following a five-day public inquiry. There were about 350 letters against siting the wind farm in an area described as a tranquil spot popular with walkers and tourists. ...But a Scottish Government planning reporter reversed the decision following an appeal by Airtricity. Carolyn Riddell-Carre, the environment and planning representative on Scottish Borders Council, said rural areas were expected to take too many wind farms. "It's like fly-tipping," she said. "People think of open space and think they'll heap things on it, whether it's rubbish or a bunch of turbines."
Government promises to speed up planning inquiries to ensure that wind farms play a valuable role in providing clean energy are not being fulfilled, with many schemes waiting up to five years for the go-ahead. Ministers have pledged to remove or reduce barriers faced by companies that want to build sustainable power projects, but this is proving difficult. ...The fragility of the wind power business was highlighted recently when Shell pulled out of the world's biggest offshore wind farm - the London Array, off Kent - because of spiralling costs associated with planning delays. Britain is already struggling to meet the EU target of producing 20% of the country's total energy from renewables by 2020. That target has been reduced to 15% but even that is a major leap given the current level of 2% - a figure that has not risen for several years.
The Scottish Government has overturned a council decision to reject a wind farm development in the Borders. Members of Scottish Borders Council's, planning committee had refused a planning application by Airtricity for 10 turbines near Ashkirk. An appeal was lodged against the decision prompting a public inquiry into the Langhope Rig scheme. A Scottish Government Reporter has upheld that appeal which paves the way for the development to go ahead.
Wind farm developer Infinergy this week lodged its appeal against the decision made in March to refuse planning permission for ten turbines in the Vale of Belvoir. The Dorset-based firm insists its proposal to build 415ft-tall turbines at the Thackson's Well site near Bottesford is viable. Project director Herbert Lindlahr said: "We are confident of our case. "We studied the local area in great detail to assess its suitability for the project and found it to be one of the best locations in South Kesteven.
Environmental campaigners last night condemned the sale of a proposed wind farm site to a French company planning to build a nuclear power plant on the plot. The site at West Hinkley, Somerset, has been bought by Electricite de France (EDF), one of the world's largest nuclear power generators. Your Energy, which tried for five years to win planning permission to build a wind farm there, confirmed it had sold the project rights to EDF. Jim Duffy, spokesman for the Stop Hinkley campaign, said objectors like British Energy had thwarted the wind farm plans by arguing nuclear power was a better use of the land.
A major application for a £20 million upgrade to a wind farm on the Lizard Peninsula could be approved, if Kerrier councillors listen to their planning officers' advice. Council officers have recommended approving the application despite recognising it would have a significant adverse impact on a landscape designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). Although this being contrary to council policy officers think the application should go ahead as the benefits would outweigh the disadvantages.
A public inquiry into plans to build a 53-turbine wind farm close to a prehistoric site on the Isle of Lewis is to open in Stornoway. ...Mr Oppenheim had originally hoped to build 130 turbines on the Eishken Estate, but agreed to reduce this to 53 following objections from RSPB Scotland over the possible impact on birds of prey in the area such as golden eagles.
An ombudsman is demanding council bosses pay to take down overhead power lines they allowed to be erected in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Tynedale Council has been accused of "maladministration" by the Local Government Ombudsman after it failed to prevent the erection of 1,600 metres of overhead power line, with 12 electricity poles, close to Ninebanks, in the Tyne Valley. The council claims it could have done nothing to stop the cables being put up but is facing a further rap for refusing to remedy the "injustice".
Councillors have rejected an application for a 14-turbine wind farm for Highland Perthshire. They decided the scheme proposed for Calliacher, near Aberfeldy, would be too visually intrusive. The council's development quality manager had recommended the conditional approval of the plans, stating that any other decision would be "unjustified." Developers I and H Brown said they were "surprised" by the outcome and would take legal advice on a possible appeal.
A public inquiry into the plans to build a wind farm near Ellingham is likely to be held in September. Berwick Borough Council refused permission for the 10-turbine development at Wandylaw in October last year. Applicants RidgeWind appealed the decision which sparked a public inquiry. Planning officers had recommended the bid be approved but councillors said it would have a detrimental effect on the landscape.
Ramblers have condemned a decision by Peak District bosses to approve a wind turbine on National Trust land. The Derbyshire Ramblers' Association say the decision to allow the turbine on White Edge on the Park's eastern moors is "astonishing" and would seriously detract from the character of the landscape. Officers had recommended the application should be refused because it wouldn't fit in with the landscape - but councillors felt the demand for renewable energy was just too important. ..."It is even more astonishing that the Park's Planning Committee should vote for the application to be approved. We would describe it as a betrayal of all the National Park is intended to stand for."
A community completely and bitterly divided over proposals for wind turbines is how Marshland St James was described in Parliament. MP for North West Norfolk Henry Bellingham called into question the efficiency of small clusters of onshore turbines. He said: "Putting small clusters of eight, nine or 10 turbines onshore does untold environmental damage, for very little gain ...Government subsidies are effectively being used by developers to achieve what is known locally as the Tesco factor: if one has enough money and one keeps coming back, one will eventually overwhelm the planning inspectorate - and even persuade local people, who have to use their own money to appeal, that it is not worth the fight."
The future of the world's largest offshore wind farm and a symbol of Britain's renewable energy future was thrown into doubt last night after it emerged that Shell was backing out of the project and indicated it would prefer to invest in more lucrative oil schemes. Shell said the decision to sell its 33% stake in the £2bn London Array off the coast of Kent was part of an "ongoing review of projects and investment choices" and was not part of any major rethink about renewables versus other oil and gas projects.
Developers behind a multi-million pound wind farm earmarked for rural Suffolk says he may reduce the turbines size in a bid to help allay residents' fears. Mid Suffolk Council has given the go ahead for a 70 metre high wind monitoring mast at Wyverstone, near Stowmarket, and the structure will be in place for up to a year. It was expected lead to an application for two 126 metre tall turbines in the village, at a cost of about £4 million. ..."Even when you reduce them to 100 metres they would still be five times the height of the next largest structure in the area and this in no way assuages are concerns, they would still be hugely out of scale with everything else around them."
Villagers of Parkham went to the polls on Thursday and rejected proposals for two wind turbines in their parish. In a rare parish referendum 215 villagers cast their votes - a 34 per cent turnout. Of these, 174 or 81 per cent were against the proposal by local man Peter Willes, who wants the turbines to power his Parkham Farms cheese-making plant and the farms which supply his milk.
Worried local residents are demanding answers after it was reported a major backer of Perthshire's biggest wind farm plan has abandoned the project. Griffin wind farm, near Aberfeldy, was to be jointly funded by GreenPower and multinational power giant General Electric, but reports have stated the latter has dropped its 50% interest in the scheme. Although it was expected a new backer would have been found by now, it is understood a funding shortfall still exists in a time of increasing global financial uncertainty, throwing the massive project into doubt.
West Norfolk planners yesterday turned down plans for a wind turbine at Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital. ...Cllr Bill Daws felt there had been insufficient liaison with the Ministry of Defence and the Air Ambulance before the application was submitted. He also felt the site was too close to the busy Al49. He added: "You have got a 240-feet-high thing sticking out of the ground with a helicopter buzzing around. I don't think that's safe." Fears about the effect of noise on hospital staff and patients were raised by Cllr Roy Groom, who was also concerned about what would happen if the hospital relocated and homes were built on the site.