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A veteran politician is kicking up a storm over the number of wind farms planned for Neath and Port Talbot. Under controversial Assembly planning guidelines, the county is set to become home to more than a third of all wind farm developments in Wales. But this is being challenged by councillors and politicians, including Neath AM Gwenda Thomas, who has pledged to fight the proposed development.
Plans for the controversial windfarm at the disused RAF Lissett airfield have been given the green light and the £25 million project is expected to start work this autumn. Twelve wind turbines are to be erected by Novera Energy Ltd on the 195 hectare site starting in around October and are expected to remain in place for the next 25 years. But residents are still up in arms about the potential threat to their quality of life which the 125 metre (410 feet) tall turbines could pose.
A castle on the outskirts of Banff will play a pivotal role in plans for a new wind turbine development. Inchdrewer Castle, which is three miles south-west of the town, stands near the site of a proposed two-turbine development at Strath of Brydock, Alvah. The possible effect of the development on the setting of the castle, which is category A listed, is causing concern to Historic Scotland and local authority planners. Historic Scotland claims the visual effect of the proposed turbines on the unoccupied castle would be “severe”.
Plans for a controversial Skye windfarm were a step closer to becoming reality last night after it emerged that Highland planning chiefs are recommending councillors approve the proposals. It is almost five years since initial proposals were submitted for a windpark at Edinbane in the north of the island, an area famed for its golden eagle population and on the edge of a Special Protected Area (SPA). Planning director John Rennilson indicated yesterday that he now felt there was no reason to halt the project. Councillors will hold a special meeting on the plans next Friday.
Campaigners reacted with anger yesterday after a study concluded that a swathe of moorland in Northumberland is capable of accommodating two controversial wind farm projects. npower renewables wants permission for 18 massive turbines at Middlemoor, north of Alnwick, and RidgeWind Ltd is seeking the green light for 10 at nearby Wandylaw. Each would tower 125m from base to rotor blade tip. Both applications have been strongly opposed by local campaigners who fear the North Northumberland landscape is at risk of being invaded by scores of turbines at a number of different locations. Now a landscape capacity study commissioned by the North-East Assembly has concluded that the moorland around North and South Charlton is capable of accommodating both.
Villagers from Prospect, Allerby, Gilcrux, Oughterside, Bullgill and Crosby Villa are preparing for a battle to keep windfarms out of their area. Alan Osliff, of Prospect, who is co-ordinating the objections, said although the fight had not officially begun everyone concerned wanted to be prepared. He said it is understood that three adjoining property owners, on land between Crosby Villa and Maryport are about to seek permission to build six 100 foot masts on their land. Mr Osliff and a group of volunteers have put survey forms through about 1,000 letterboxes in each of the villages. The results will then be taken to Allerby and Oughterside parish council to seek its support. Mr Osliff said Allerdale had already reached the minimum number of wind turbines it is required to have and he feels that other areas should now be taking their share.
Controversial plans for a windfarm near a country park have been ruled out. A proposal to build 19 turbines - each around 300ft high - in Kelburn Estate, near Largs in Ayrshire, has been rejected in the face of major opposition. Planning chiefs said the windfarm posed a threat to the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park environment and the tourism industry.
North Northumberland’s biggest proposed wind farm is to go to a public inquiry after being rejected by local planners. The 18-turbine scheme at Middlemoor, near North Charlton, had been recommended for approval by officers at Alnwick District Council. However, members of the council’s development control committee voted 14-3 to reject the application by npower renewables because of concerns about its visual impact. A final ruling will still be made by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) but a public inquiry will have to be staged first to give developers and objectors a chance to put their cases before a planning inspector.
An indictment of the Scottish Executive and regulatory incompetence and indifference......‘One is left with a clear impression of inertia, bungling, duplicity, poor communication, procrastination, obfuscation and, quite frankly, shoddy and incorrect decision-taking both in temporal and technical terms'.
The developer behind plans for a controversial 23-turbine windfarm on Harrods boss Mohamed Al Fayed’s land in central Sutherland yesterday appealed against refusal of planning permission for the development. Airtricity - one of Europe’s leading fully integrated renewable energy companies - also criticised Highland Council for basing its decision on the proposed windfarm at Beinn Rosail, Strath Oykel, near Invercassley, on its new Highland Renewable Energy Strategy. The company is in the unusual situation of asking Scottish Ministers to reverse a council decision, which has already been overturned by its own members.
A public inquiry is to be held to determine plans for a wind farm near North Charlton. Alnwick District Council this week went against advice to object to the 18-turbine development at Middlemoor because members said it would have an adverse impact on the landscape. That decision automatically triggers a public inquiry. Officers had said there were no policy grounds for rejecting the bid but councillors said the strength of opinion against npower renewables’ plans meant that the move was necessary, whatever the cost. The meeting on Tuesday heard that a public inquiry could cost taxpayers up to £100,000 and members were warned this could impact on service delivery in the district. Campaigners fighting the development, and who had called for a public inquiry, said they were delighted at the decision.
Developers behind a Donside windfarm project last night claimed that a two-day display in the community has proved “positive and worthwhile”. But local critics pledged to continue opposing the scheme.
A company bidding to build a wind farm on land owned by businessman Mohamed Al Fayed has appealed against a council's decision to refuse it permission. Airtricity proposed to construct 23 turbines at Beinn Rosail, near Invercassley, in Sutherland. It has lodged an appeal with the Scottish Executive against Highland Council's decision in December. Airtricity said its plan was in line with the development policies of the council and government.
Residents of Shipdham have another anxious wait ahead on the future of two proposed wind turbines in the village after the High Court sent its fate back into the hands of the planning inspectorate. A government inspector granted permission for the turbines on appeal following a public inquiry last year but a condition imposed to prevent noise nuisance was challenged by Nicholas and Lee Hoare who live next to the proposed site. At a brief hearing in London Mr Justice Lloyd Jones approved a consent order agreed between the Secretary of State, Breckland Council and developers Ecotricity, that the decision should be quashed and sent back to the Secretary of State for reconsideration on grounds that the condition was “unenforceable and imprecise” in a move that could set a new precedent for the ruling of planning permission for wind turbines. The residents are now eager to hear what a new planning inspector decides to do with the case. He or she will take further representations from the interested parties and choose whether to simply re-write the condition, take it back to another public inquiry or completely change tack and refuse permission. Mr Hoare told the EDP he hoped it would go back to another inquiry.
Campaigners against the Kyle Wind Farm have vowed to continue the fight despite the shock withdrawal of a key objector. The National Air Traffic Service, (NATS), agreed a last-minute deal on Friday with developers AMEC, four days before the Public Inquiry into the scheme which began yesterday, February 20. If the plans are approved, AMEC has agreed to suspend building wind turbines to the north of the development, in the Dalmellington area, until new radar technology has been introduced. However, the Chronicle has seen a document from the Civil Aviation Authority, (CAA), which is being submitted to the Inquiry. It states that the potential solutions to deal with the problem of ‘clutter’ i.e., interference with air traffic signals by the giant turbines, are ‘not at a mature enough stage.’
The last in a series of long-running public inquiries into controversial plans for a series of wind farms in the scenic Ochil Hills will open in the Salutation Hotel, Perth, this morning. And it could run until March 20. Site specific hearings have already been held for giant turbines at Snowgoat Glen, near Dunning (applicants Npower Renewables Ltd.), Lochelbank, near Glenfarg (Npower Renewables Ltd.), Mellock Hill, near Crook of Devon (RDC Scotland Ltd.) and Little Law, near Auchterarder (GreenPower International Ltd.). Scottish Executive Reporter Karen Haywood will now preside over a “conjoined” inquiry, when she will hear evidence on the potential cumulative visual and landscape impacts of the proposed developments. At the four earlier inquiries, which started on November 21 and concluded on February 2, landscape and visual impacts for the individual schemes, along with noise, hydrology, planning, heritage, recreational and amenity issues were discussed. The inquiries were triggered after Perth and KInross Council’s development control committee rejected the wind farm applications.
Sixteen more wind turbines are being planned for Deeping St Nicholas. The development at Church Farm would treble the current number to 24.
A decision on the Moorsyde wind farm planning application has been pencilled in for Berwick Borough Council’s planning meeting on April 10. Borough solicitor Liam Henry said the long-awaited Arup study on cumulative impact would be taken into account by planning officers if it is published in time. However, he warned that it would still only have limited relevance because it focuses on the county-wide picture rather than Moorsyde in particular. Plans for the 10 turbine wind farm between Ancroft and Felkington have already been delayed for legal reasons on two occasions.
Residents are bracing themselves against the proposals which would turn the village into “wind turbine city”. Community leaders said they are worried about the scale of the development. Parish council chairman David Chappell said: “I have no idea what outcry there will be because we have problems with the existing ones. “We were open-minded on the existing project to see which way the village went but people were against it.” District councillor Paul Espin said he had concerns given the background of the existing turbines. He said: “It’s an awful lot of turbines for a small, rural community.”
public meeting will be held next month for West Norfolk villagers who are worried that a huge wind farm could be built on their doorstep. Congham Parish Council has called the meeting after it was passed leaked documents which showed that a major electricity supplier was had shown an interest in building 26, 110metre turbines on farmland off the B1153 in the village. Now the council has decided to call a public meeting to inform residents of what it has learned about the proposed wind farm.