Library filed under Zoning/Planning from UK
A report into the environmental costs associated with the construction of the Braes of Doune windfarm in Stirlingshire has been published. Local liaison group Friends of the Braes monitored the Special Area of Conservation over the 18 months during which the windfarm was being built. When it was refused access to the site by construction company Alfred McAlpine, it chartered a helicopter and made an aerial record of some of the activities which worried it. The report of the findings, called Scandal on the Braes, has just been published.
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.
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."
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
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.
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.
THE TEAM behind plans to develop a massive wind farm in the central mainland of Shetland has been accused of arrogance for leaving it so late to speak to islanders potentially affected by the development. Many of the 70 people that turned up to the first public consultation meeting on the development, in Vidlin Hall, on Tuesday night, expressed their uneasiness with a proposal that would "industrialise the central mainland".
A £30 million wind farm has been given the green light in the most dramatic of circumstances - despite council planners warning that it will blight the Lammermuir Hills. Councillors, urged by their own officials to throw out plans for 16 giant, 125-metre tall turbines at Aikengall, were unable to decide its fate. Six supported the project and six were against - but, in an afternoon of high drama at Haddington Town House, the casting vote of planning committee convenor Norman Hampshire saw the scheme approved.
A scheme by the National Trust to use a 42ft tall wind turbine as an alternative to installing an £11,500 mains electricity supply in the conversion of a former school is expected to be rejected. It has raised concerns about a possible clash between the need for renewable energy to tackle climate change issues and the difficulty of meeting National Park planning policies. The North York Moors National Park Authority is being recommended today to reject the change of use of the former School House in Bransdale, near Helmsley, into a community hall because of "the unsightly wind turbine".
Hopes are high a decision will be made this month on whether to allow three wind turbines to be built in the heart of the Hawker country.A site visit was held by district planners last week to look at proposals by West Coast Energy to place three 81-metre wind turbines near Crimp, just outside Morwenstow. A public meeting followed the visit which was attended by hundreds of people. Although West Coast Energy says the project has community benefits and will help North Cornwall meet its renewable energy targets, campaigners have spent more than two years fighting the plans. Members of MAT - Morwenstow Against Turbines - say they have carried out thorough research and cannot find any reason for having wind turbines in this area.
A decision to permit an eight-turbine wind farm in Lincolnshire has been deferred for a second time. London-based Your Energy wants to build the wind farm in Laughton, but West Lindsey District Council has voted to delay the decision once more. At a meeting on Wednesday evening, district councillors said they needed more information about the development. Managing Director of Your Energy, Richard Mardon, said the continued delays were "very frustrating".
Britain published new plans on Thursday to streamline the development of offshore wind, wave and tidal power projects, while still protecting wildlife, as part of the fight against global warming. While onshore wind farms are sprouting up all over Britain in the race to develop clean sources of power, offshore wind - which is much more expensive - is only now starting to develop. Wave and tidal are even further behind. "Protecting our seas is one of the biggest environmental challenges after climate change and the two are closely linked," Environment Secretary, David Miliband said. "The proposals in the Marine Bill White Paper are a first for the UK and would raise planning for the management and protection of our seas to a world-leading level." The white paper policy document, which is open for public consultation until June, proposes a strategic marine planning system to set national objectives and priorities for offshore developments.
The windfarm lobby was dealt a blow yesterday when Devon County Council refused to back plans for two projects.Councillors on the development control committee took the advice of council officers who recommended the plans for turbines to be erected in North Devon and Kingsbridge, South Devon, be opposed. The applications are to put up two wind turbine generators at Cross Moor, near Knowstone, South Molton; and three at Beech Tree Farm, East Allington, near Kingsbridge. But in both cases the officers at Devon County Council recommended that the impact on the environment outweighed that of the energy output. The plans for both could still go ahead, but it is unlikely that the planning authorities - the district councils - will ignore the opposition to these projects. Speaking on the Cross Moor rejection, Bob Barfoot, chairman of the North Devon branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: "This is a great day. If these turbines are erected they will be on the edge of Exmoor and right in view of anyone looking - it is one of the most scenic places in the country. This would not be acceptable. "No one wants these things here and it is right that the council has opposed them. I cannot see the plans being given consent now."
A wind farm plan has been scrapped because of fears about plane crashes. Developer SLP Energy had proposed putting up three turbines on land between Rampside Road and the gas terminal. The company, based in Lowestoft, Suffolk, said the wind farm would produce clean, economic renewable energy and offset the emission of a "significant quantity of pollutants," particularly carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere for the next 25 years. But many Rampside residents were furious about the project. The main reasons for people objecting were concerns about noise pollution, the destruction of the landscape and its impact on quality of life.
Controversy surrounds the measures needed to switch to less polluting re-newable energy. Many question a major expansion of onshore wind turbines, given their landscape impact and limited effectiveness. We need new measures to promote effective, alternative renewable energy sources - in the right place.
Norfolk councillor yesterday announced he will be cutting through the hot air on the debate on windfarms and putting his money where his mouth is in a bid to stop a proposal for his village. Fed up with just talking the talk, district councillor Michael Windridge has now hand-delivered a letter to every household in Hempnall asking for their opinions on a proposed seven-turbine development. With each letter he has included a stamped-addressed envelope, costing him personally in the region of £400, so that he can accurately gauge the strength of feeling for or against the development - the so-called ‘Hempnall Declaration'.
Another wind turbine company has its sights set on this part of the county with proposals for land near Syderstone. Up to six turbines, each around 100 metres high (328ft), are proposed by generating company e.on, although the exact number has yet to be determined, for a site between Bagthorpe and Syderstone, near the nature reserve. "We have identified Chiplow as being one of the most suitable sites in Lynn and West Norfolk with a good potential to accommodate a cluster of modern wind turbines," says a letter to residents in the area. "The project is still in a very early stage and we are in the process of carrying out environmental studies to find out more information about the site," it added. According to the literature, five machines in the cluster would generate enough electricity to power 5,000 homes which would account for around nine per cent of the Lynn and West Norfolk domestic demand. A team of independent environmental consultants are carrying out site investigations, including impact assessments. The company, which runs Powergen, is also telling residents that should the turbines be built, an annual community fund of around £10,000 a year would be available, along with energy efficiency advice and services and educational programmes. Residents are asked to comment on the proposed site by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Chiplow Project Director, Community Power, e.on UK, Westwood Way, Westwood Business Park, Coventry CV4 8LG. The news comes as another company has revealed it is considering siting a group of turbines in Congham - prompting a massive outcry from residents.
But chairman of the Brassington Parish Council, Brian Flinders, explained that public feeling at Monday's Parish Council meeting seemed to sway very heavily against the plans. He said: "Around 30 members of the public turned up to listen to the meeting, so it's obvious the people of Brassington are very concerned. "We realise there isn't much time, so we are wanting to act quickly and team up with other councils round the area to put forward an opposition. "Saving energy is very important, but wind power is inefficient and a lot of residents are worried about the noise."
Question marks were raised yesterday over plans to make council-owned land in Northumberland available to wind farm developers. In a move aimed at both demonstrating the county council's `green' credentials and raising much-needed income, executive members agreed in principle to the use of the authority's land assets for wind energy generation.
The organisation responsible for the South Downs has pledged to oppose plans to build a wind turbine. The South Downs Joint Committee decided yesterday (mon) to object to a planning application by Glyndebourne Opera House. For the first time the group's planning committee allowed a member of the public to address its meeting. Ringmer parish councillor Vic Tomkinson told the committee he believed the wind turbine would be ineffective and any environmental benefits would be far outweighed by the harm done to the landscape. It would loom over the downs at a height of 44 metres, or 70 metres to the top of the blade, with a 52-metre diameter.