Planning chiefs have been blown away by the level of feeling about controversial wind farm plans ““ forcing them to extend the deadline for residents to have their say.
Derbyshire Dales District Council say proposals by West Coast Energy Ltd to erect a four-turbine windfarm on land at Carsington Pastures have resulted in a “˜significant number’ of comments, both for and against.
However, the authority has come under fire for the 21-day limit given for interested parties to have their say on what it calls “˜complex and contentious’ proposals.
The criticism has prompted leaders to extend the deadline indefinitely while additional information about the skyline-transforming scheme is gathered.
Paul Wilson, Derbyshire Dales District Council planning services manager, said: “It is the policy of the district council to engage the communities of the Derbyshire Dales as widely as possible on all planning applications and the proposals for Carsington Pasture are no exception.
“Whilst the statutory period of public consultation on planning applications is 21 days, the district council will accept representations on applications beyond this deadline up to and including the date of determination of proposals.”
Mr Wilson said he was disappointed that the applicants had failed to carry out any consultation themselves.
He added: “During pre-application discussions with West Coast Energy, the district council advised on at least two separate occasions of the importance of engaging the local community in a meaningful dialogue in respect of these proposals.
“Whilst there is no statutory requirement for applicants to undertake pre-application consultation, the district council are disappointed that West Coast Energy did not consider it appropriate to do so in this case.”
A date has not yet been fixed for a decision to be made on the application.
To make representations visit: www.derbyshiredales.gov.uk or write to: The Planning Services Manager, Derbyshire Dales District Council, Town Hall, Bank Road, Matlock, DE45 3NN.
22 March 2007
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