Library filed under Zoning/Planning from UK

Windmills bid back on track

A delay-hit bid to build 10 wind turbines in Northumberland is back on track, after further wrangling between developers, council chiefs and protesters. Your Energy Ltd’s ambitions for the Moorsyde site, near Berwick, had been recommended for approval in December, but was halted amid threats of legal action by local protesters from the Moorsyde Action Group (MAG). It was then scheduled to be heard in January, but stalled again amid calls for a deferral of all windfarm applications in the borough until the publication of a key report. That plea was rejected, only for the council to then put the plan on hold once more two weeks ago, saying members did need more information to base their final decision on. Since then, senior officers at Berwick Borough Council have been in discussions with Your Energy over the application, which both parties are eager to conclude. And a hearing has now been pencilled in for the planning committee on April 10.
26 Feb 2007

Windfarm protest gets powerful backing

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has joined local efforts to stop a windfarm being built on the edge of a Norfolk village. It says the proposed wind turbines at Hempnall would damage a beautiful part of the countryside it dubs the heart of rural Norfolk, and destroy an area to be included in its national rural tranquillity campaign. Norfolk-based Enertrag UK wants to build seven turbines, each 130m tall, and is engaged in a public consultation process with villagers. A planning application will not be submitted until the end of the year. Opponents to the renewable-energy scheme welcomed the backing of their campaign by the CPRE.
26 Feb 2007

‘Red tape thwarts wind revolution’

Wind farm projects that could supply power to one in six homes in the UK have been stuck in Britain’s controversial planning system - prompting warnings that renewable energy has effectively been ’stopped in its tracks’. The latest blow to the government’s energy and environment record comes as ministers are expected to admit within weeks that emissions of carbon dioxide rose again last year, despite repeated pledges to cut the main gas blamed for global warming. Figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs show that wind farms capable of producing the equivalent of 11 gigawatts are delayed by planning disputes. Local residents say they are unsightly and there are fears over the noise they make. The number of wind farms currently in planning limbo is equal to 8 per cent of UK electricity supply, or more than the output of the UK’s biggest coal-fired power station, Drax in north Yorkshire. Developers also face lengthy waits to be connected to the National Grid. One wind farm company has been offered connection after 2015.
25 Feb 2007

Residents rally to halt wind turbines

An action group has been formed to fight plans to build two large wind turbines close to Castle Cary. Two separate schemes to erect green energy plants at Ansford Community School and on a site between Pitcombe and Hadspen have been proposed, although final plans have yet to be submitted. Somerset county councillor Henry Hobhouse’s plans to build a 100-meter turbine on a site close to his Hadspen home met with an angry response when discussed at a public meeting last month. Mr Hobhouse invited residents to consider investing in the £450,000 scheme, which he believes would meet one third of their energy needs and help to fight global warming. In September, Ansford Community School head teacher Robert Benzie briefed Ansford Parish Council on plans to build a 44-metre turbine on the school grounds. The schemes have infuriated a group of residents, who believe the large turbines would not generate enough energy to justify their impact on the surrounding landscape, property prices and their quality of life.
25 Feb 2007

Windfarm fight goes on

Concerned Kirkgunzeon residents met with local MSP Alex Fergusson as they stepped-up their fight against a small-scale turbine development in the area. Natural Power Consultants (NPC) have applied to build two turbines - which will be two metres taller than London’s Big Ben - at Doon Hill. The company also want to erect another two turbines at Barnbackle Hill, Lochfoot. They will be seen from the A75 and A711 and the villages of Shawhead, Beeswing, Springholm, Haugh of Urr, Milton, Crocketford and Dumfries as well as Lochfoot and Kirkgunzeon. But the plans have already met with opposition in the two communities.
25 Feb 2007

Wind has blown in our favour now

Residents fighting plans for wind farms in the East Riding hope a decision to approve plans for Lissett will help their individual campaigns. By approving the 12-turbine scheme at a disused airfield, councillors have helped the East Riding almost meet its Government target for non-fossil fuel power generation for 2010. Campaigners hope it will mean less pressure on councillors to give other wind farms the green light.
23 Feb 2007

Anxious wait on turbine plan

Residents of Shipdham have another anxious wait ahead on the future of two proposed wind turbines in the village after the High Court sent their 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.
23 Feb 2007

Wind farm approved

Plans to build a wind farm in Lissett were today given the green light. Councillors voted 7-6 in favour of the 12 wind turbine farm after a lengthy debate. Residents who live near the site, a disused RAF airfield, near Driffield, say they are devastated with the decision Christine Lee, who spoke on behalf of residents who live in and around Lissett said: “This wind farm will change the face of the East Riding. “Its going to transform an unspoilt, untouched rural area, which is very quiet into an industrial area and will set a president for other wind farms to follow. This is the key that opens the door.” Tony Buxton, Wind Division Director at Novera Energy Limited, the company which will develop the wind farm, said: “The wind farm at Lissett will be a boost to the local economy as well as contributing towards the council’s renewable energy targets.”
23 Feb 2007

Wind farm at Rampside set to be turned down

Town hall chiefs look set to refuse two potential wind farm projects. SLP Energy proposes building a wind farm at Rampside. The company plans to put up a temporary, 60-metre high mast in a field opposite Newholme Farm to monitor the wind. But Barrow Borough Council chiefs look set to refuse permission for the mast when they meet on Tuesday.
22 Feb 2007

Wind farm row reaches climax

Protesters are urging council chiefs to overrule their own planning department and force a public inquiry into plans for 18 wind turbines on a Northumberland hillside. Officers at Alnwick District Council sparked a backlash from objectors last night, after giving their sanction to npower's controversial proposal for Middlemoor, just off the A1 at South Charlton. Northumberland County Council has already backed the bid, to the dismay of local residents, who say it will ruin an area of outstanding beauty.
22 Feb 2007

D-day for wind farm plan

LISSETT airfield could be home to a wind farm by the end of the year, if the proposals are accepted by a planning committee today. An application has been made to erect 12 turbines on the site of the former airfield. And should the application prove successful, Novera Energy – the company behind the proposals – hopes to begin building in the summer in time for an operational winter.
22 Feb 2007

Windfarm before planners

The wind of change will blow across Lissett if permission is granted this week for 12 massive turbines. Novera Energy Ltd has applied for planning permission to build a windfarm at the disused airfield. Officers from East Riding of Yorkshire Council have recommended tomorrow’s planning committee to defer the scheme pending a legal agreement to carry out certain work, with approval once the agreement is completed. The application had been previously deferred.
21 Feb 2007

County backs wind farm

Devon County councillors have given their backing to a wind farm at Batsworthy Cross, near Knowstone, South Molton. Members of the development control committee voted not to raise an objection to npower renewables’ plans for a nine-turbine wind farm, submitted to North Devon District Council. A county council spokesperson told the Gazette that six councillors voted in favour of not raising an objection on strategic planning or highways issues, while one objected and two abstained. Simon Holt, development manager for npower renewables, said: “This is fantastic news and demonstrates the county’s determination to responsibly tackle climate change. “npower renewables has always been confident that we have proposed a sensibly designed wind farm project and we hope that this decision will steer North Devon District councillors to take a similar approach.” And Mr Holt urged those in favour of the scheme to make their feelings known to North Devon District Council. “Your opinion truly counts and it could help the area take a valuable step in the fight against climate change,” he said. A final decision on the fate of the wind farm is likely to be made next month by North Devon District Council.
21 Feb 2007

SNH fights on against wind farm

Scottish Natural Heritage yesterday confirmed its objection to a huge wind farm planned for Lewis. SNH board members reiterated their previous view that land covered by special protection area status might be harmed by the development. They also said there was insufficient information to determine the potential impact on birds. Last week, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) voted 18-8 in favour of the plan by Lewis Wind Power, subject to 50 conditions, including the removal of five of the proposed 181 turbines. Because of the scale of the 651-megawatt project, a final decision rests with the Scottish Executive. Meanwhile, SNH has withdrawn its objection to a proposed wind farm at Edinbane on Skye. It follows a public consultation by Highland Council on the latest submission from the developer AMEC, which included an appraisal of the likely effect on golden eagles.
21 Feb 2007

Four turbines next to Flag Fen

Wind turbines could be built next door to Peterborough’s Flag Fen – one of Europe’s most important Bronze Age sites. Anglian Water is consulting on plans to put up four turbines on its sewage works site in Third Drove, Fengate, which is a quarter of a mile from ancient remains at Flag Fen. The turbines would be 80 metres high and the blades 45 metres long, making it an instantly recognisable symbol across the flat Fenland landscape. While Flag Fen’s general manager Georgia Butters admits that four giant turbines don’t exactly sit with the centre’s aim to give visitors an authentic Bronze Age experience, she has agreed to compromise -– for the sake of the environment.
21 Feb 2007

Windfarm protesters on Skye in court threat

Anti windfarm campaigners on Skye last night threatened legal action in a bid to ensure a long-opposed development on the island would never happen. Opponents of Amec’s Edinbane proposal stated their intent shortly after Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) withdrew its objection to a reduced 18-turbine project. That followed consideration of a fresh consultants’ estimate, commissioned by the developers, of the likely impact on golden eagles within the protected area surrounding the site.
21 Feb 2007

Wind farm plans go to councils

FINAL plans for wind farms in Bacup and Todmorden have been submitted to Rossendale and Calderdale Councils. Coronation Power, the company that develops sustainable energy schemes, made the applications following a 20-month assessment of the environmental impact and extensive public consultation. Four exhibitions were held in the two towns last year, with virtual interactive displays of the wind farms plus the chance for residents to speak to staff about the schemes. Now the company is hoping the councils will give the green light to the schemes at Reaps Moss, Britannia, and on Todmorden Moor.
20 Feb 2007

Giant island windfarm plan ’seriously flawed’

PLANS to build one of the world’s biggest windfarms across vast swathes of Lewis have been dealt a devastating blow from a government agency. Officials at Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) have condemned the controversial scheme and claim aspects of the developer’s approach are ’seriously flawed’. The board of the quango will meet tomorrow to finalise its representations to the government over the massive scheme. In a damning report, SNH officers deride Lewis Windpower’s (LWP) claims that building 181 giant turbines, 50 miles of roads and pylons, substations and quarries across the environmentally protected moor would not seriously hit bird species, including golden eagles, or affect their peatland habitat. Officials recommend that objections are lodged against the scheme and condemn LWP’s assessments. LWP is also criticised for its ‘ seriously flawed’ interpretation of the Habitats Regulations, which legally govern developments that can harm wildlife and environmentally protected land.
20 Feb 2007

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