Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from UK
Plans for an 80m wind turbine in the grounds of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn were thrown out by councillors this morning. Health chiefs devised the scheme with renewable energy company Ecotricity as the hospital attempts to become the first public sector organisation in the country to generate its own green energy. But an objection was received from the MoD which claimed the turbine would cause "unacceptable interference" to the air traffic control radar at nearby RAF Marham.
The five-year saga of a controversial Lincolnshire wind farm plan has taken a new twist after a Government inspector turned it down - again. But energy firm Your Energy has refused to admit defeat, even though residents opposed to the plan have declared victory. The company wants to build a 10-turbine site at Laughton, near Gainsborough ...The plan was originally turned down by West Lindsey District Council in 2004.
It is a question of nature versus need, and livelihood versus landscape. The Scottish Government's rejection this week of plans for Europe's largest wind farm on Barvas Moor, on Lewis, has shown there are many shades of green. Only a few years ago, the merits of the Lewis Wind Power (LWP) scheme were trumpeted high and wide. ...Since then, however, environmentalism has come in for increasing questioning and paradoxes have been revealed. The rejection of LWP - to protect the fragile ecosystem of the Lewis Peatlands Special Protection Area - may be a taste of things to come. ..."Given the 'green on green' nature of the debate, opinion will doubtless remain divided over whether such a development would be a good, bad or indifferent development in Scotland."
An appeal brought by an energy company wanting to install eight wind turbines in Lincolnshire has been dismissed. Your Energy appealed to the Planning Inspectorate after its application was deferred by West Lindsey District Council for a third time in 2007. But an independent inspector ruled the turbines would cause "significant damage" to the landscape at Laughton. Your Energy's managing director Richard Mardon said the company was undertaking a legal review of the report.
A five year 'battle' over plans for eight wind turbines has ended in victory for residents. It was brought to a conclusion when a Government planning inspector vetoed the plans for Laughton. Ipswich-based Your Energy saw its plans turned down for the second time, leaving George Love of Laughton Parish Council delighted. "It is a great relief because it has hung over us like a cloud," said the former council chairman. ...Your Energy, however, is still refusing to give up the fight. "We are stunned by this decision and are undertaking a legal review of its content," said managing director Richard Mardon.
The Audit Commission's inspection of Berwick Borough Council says that, overall, the council is improving after being judged "weak" four years ago, but that improvements in its development control service are insufficient to meet Government targets. The report follows criticism of the council's method of paying consultants to prepare reports on plans, notably three wind farm proposals which had been with the authority for up to three and a half years. ..."The service is struggling to deal with a legacy of more complex major applications and none of these are currently being processed within government target times. Applicant satisfaction with the service is low."
Plans for Britain's biggest land-based wind farm were turned down by the Scottish government yesterday, in a landmark decision with wide implications for the future development of renewable energy in the UK. The 181-turbine development on the Hebridean island of Lewis was vetoed by Scottish ministers because it was at odds with tough protection for wildlife sites afforded by European law. The site was designated as the Lewis Peatlands special protection area under the EU's birds directive to protect its rare breeding birds including the golden eagle, merlin, red-throated diver, black-throated diver, golden plover, dunlin and greenshank. ..."This is an extremely commendable decision ... that is absolutely right for Scotland," said Stuart Housden, director of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in Scotland. "It sends a very strong message that in meeting our ambitious and welcome renewable targets, we do not have to sacrifice our most important environmental resources."
A public inquiry in southern Scotland looks set to be delayed to allow the impact of wind turbines on radar systems to be assessed. A Scottish Government reporter has asked for the Blackcraig wind farm hearing to be suspended until October. The inquiry is considering Scottish and Southern Energy's plans to build 23 turbines in the Galloway hills. The delay would allow National Air Traffic Services to give evidence of the effect on radar technology. ...The potential effect of wind turbines on radar systems has been raised at a number of developments recently. The Ministry of Defence has objected to some proposals on those grounds, but its claims have been contested by power companies.
A major wind farm developer has asked European Commissioners to acknowledge support for its 181-turbine proposal for Barvas Moor on Lewis. Lewis Wind Power (LWP) will be one group at a European Parliament event discussing the Europe-wide Natura 2000 network of protected areas. Sites covered by the Natura 2000 designation include Lewis peat bogs. LWP said the designation should not hinder developments which could bring benefits to remote communities. ...The Natura 2000 event is to be held on Wednesday by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE). European Commissioners are expected to attend.
People in a cluster of the North's former mining villages are preparing to speak out against plans to build a 13-turbine wind farm. Scottish Power subsidiary CRE Energy wants to erect the 121m-high turbines on farmland west of the Alcan aluminium complex at Lynemouth, which would be 40 metres taller than the smelter's landmark chimneys. ...Castle Morpeth councillors rejected the CRE Energy application a year ago, claiming the turbines will be excessive and over-dominant in the flat, coastal landscape. But the company has said it is confident of succeeding with its appeal. Its original bid for 16 turbines was scaled down because of local opposition.
Controversial plans to install six wind turbines on top of a historic council building and a 20m generator on a public lawn are to be considered again. The proposals, for King's House in Grand Avenue, Hove, were initially withdrawn after councillors decided they needed more time for consideration. ... Opposition councillors claimed the scheme had been shelved because it was unpopular with the area's councillors and people living in central Hove. The plans were sent back to the council's sustainability commission, which was supposed to rule on whether the project should go to a planning committee. But instead councillors on the group complained the report was lacking in detail and asked for a more in-depth study.
Protesters have labelled the decision to give the go-ahead for a £90 million wind farm in east Sutherland as a disaster. The Scottish Government announced this week that it had approved the 35-turbine wind farm at Gordonbush, Strath Brora, which will generate 87.5 megawatts of electricity ...Energy minister Jim Mather called it "a good example of a sensitively scaled and sited wind farm operating in harmony with the environment". But opponents pointed out that approval had been granted even though no habitat management plan had been agreed and the access route was still uncertain. Sutherland landowner Edward Reeves of Suisgill Estate, a supporter of local anti-wind farm action group Landscape, claimed the decision represented a failure in democracy. "This is a disastrous decision for Brora and Helmsdale and for the few remaining stretches of wild land in the Highland," he said. "When democracy fails, where do you turn?"
Ministers yesterday gave the go-ahead for a 35-turbine wind farm despite opposition from campaigners who said it would result in the "second Highland Clearances". First Minister Alex Salmond welcomed the approval for the Gordonbush development near Brora, Sutherland, which will be able to power 37,000 homes. Objectors' concerns were raised last July when Mr Salmond unveiled a statue in nearby Helmsdale to commemorate those who left the Highlands during the clearances and began new lives overseas.
As someone who fought against the erection of three 95 metre high turbines at Loscar Farm, I must say that I am at a loss with the decision of the Rotherham Planning Committee to sanction the go-ahead. ...At the final planning meeting, one councillor declared that they knew all about global warming because they lived at Catcliffe and had suffered as a result of recent floods! Does that qualify them as an expert on the subject? Belief that the turbines will halt global warming is naive. They are built for the purpose of obtaining Government subsidies paid to developers.
EON is set for a showdown with the Ministry of Defence after it submitted a planning application for a £700m ($1.4 billion USD) offshore wind farm despite objections from the ministry. The energy company's move to push ahead with the Humber Gateway wind farm, which would be one of the largest in the UK, is the first new project to have been proposed since John Hutton, the Secretary of State for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) revealed a plan to install 33 gigawatts of wind energy by 2020. That is up from the 1gw that is generated from wind power in the country today. The MoD has objected to the project, set to be located about 5 miles off the East Yorkshire coast, because it could interfere with radar equipment.
The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DBERR) - which heads up the drive to ensure 15 per cent of the UK's energy comes from renewables by 2020 - has also been working hard on finding ways around the objections. Military fears over the impact of the turbines creating blackspots on radar has seen more than 40 proposals blocked, while agencies of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have used the threat of flooding and the impact on wildlife to put forward objections to both onshore and offshore wind farms. But the British Wind Energy Association insisted Government departments had to work harder to overcome the objections to pursue the higher goal of cutting carbon emissions. Charles Anglin, BWEA director of communications, told the WMN: "If the UK is going to meet its tough new targets for renewable energy and tackle climate change, then the Government agencies like the Ministry of Defence and the Environment Agency have to play their part.
Wind developers are to be warned to stop ignoring airports and fully consult before putting in plans for turbines in parts of Northumberland. The North East Assembly has written to the Government insisting that when the region's planning master plan is produced this summer it includes a line forcing developers to check there are no radar objections likely to scupper proposals. The NEA is producing a Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) which has to first be approved by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG). The final version will be used as a legal guide underpinning every planning decision made in the North East.
There is a serious danger that three wind power proposals above Todmorden will be "fast tracked" through the planning appeal process, and local concerns set aside in favour of the Government's "green" energy targets, say local campaigners. Planning appeals for wind power sites on Todmorden Moor, Crook Hill and Reaps Moss will be put together in one appeal hearing later this year, according to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol. Local campaigners against the wind turbines are very concerned that the three sites proposed, with a total of 20, 410ft high turbines, will be treated by the Inspectorate as one big wind farm. If the total installed capacity is 60MW or over, the Inspectorate refer to it as a site "of major importance having more than local significance". ..."We must not let this happen," said Robin Pennie. "No energy company has the right to assume Government targets should take precedence over local risk."
Three wind farm proposals within close proximity of each other have been rejected by Berwick Borough Council. There were jubilant scenes inside a packed Maltings theatre as councillors reached their decision after a marathon six hour planning meeting. Planning officers had been recommending approval of a seven turbine scheme at Moorsyde, near Ancroft, and a six turbine scheme at Barmoor, near Lowick.
Wind farm objectors in the Alnwick area are hoping that a decision to reject three applications near Berwick will impact on the ruling for the proposals near North Charlton. Berwick Borough Council's planning committee last week rejected bids for 20 turbines at three sites south west of Berwick - Moorsyde, Barmoor and Toft Hill. Objectors to plans for an 18-turbine plant at Middlemoor, which went to a public inquiry last year, hope the inspector's ruling will go the same way. Meanwhile, the applicants of the three schemes which were denied planning permission confirmed they will appeal.