Developers will be prevented from building wind turbines in Shropshire’s world famous Ironbridge Gorge under strict new planning restrictions, it was revealed today.
The Government is introducing a series of “buffer zones” around recognised World Heritage Sites across the UK, in a bid to protect them from skyscrapers and other intrusive developments.
And Telford solicitor Graham Davies believes the guidelines are sufficiently far-reaching to cover wind turbines, which have been causing mounting controversy in Shropshire since the turn of the year.
Japanese printer firm Epson this week revealed it wanted to build two towers which would dwarf the town’s tallest building – the 157ft high Telford Plaza – to generate power for its Hortonwood plant.
People in Chelmarsh, near Bridgnorth, are unha-ppy about two new 120-metre turbines that could be built on the edge of a reservoir, and campaigners have also turned out in force to oppose plans for a 60-metre turbine at Norton in Hales, near Market Drayton.
Mr Davies, from Martin-Kaye Solicitors in Euston Way, Telford, said the laws were being introduced following concerns from UNE-SCO that World Heritage Sites were being put at risk.
“They were worried that sites such as the Tower of London were in danger as a result of skyscraper developments being allowed nearby.
“And with the growing interest in seeking alternative power sources, the enormous wind turbines proposed in several areas of the UK could also be a threat.
“But thanks to the new ruling, the Ironbridge Gorge and other listed sites across the country would be protected from any future proposals for such develop- ments.
“This is excellent news, as it’s vital that important historical sites like Ironbridge are preserved for future generations.”
As well as protecting historic skylines, the Government proposals suggest new powers to restrict stone cladding, dormer windows, and satellite dishes near the designated heritage sites.
By Carl Jones
12 March 2007
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