Wind developers are to be warned to stop ignoring airports and fully consult before putting in plans for turbines in parts of Northumberland.
The North East Assembly has written to the Government insisting that when the region’s planning masterplan is produced this summer it includes a line forcing developers to check there are no radar objections likely to scupper proposals.
The NEA is producing a Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) which has to first be approved by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
The final version will be used as a legal guide underpinning every planning decision made in the North East.
A current draft version does not include the forced airport consultation because Government guidelines already state developers should solve any radar issues before even submitting a bid.
But events in Tynedale have left the Assembly wondering if the rules need more enforcement.
Tynedale Council is fighting proposals for 59 turbines north of Hexham – at Green Rigg Fell, Ray and Steadings – despite objections by the Ministry of Defence and the airport industry.
The proposals have met with anger from residents, including William Charlton, 71, and Anne Catherine del Marmoi, who live near the Green Rigg site. Mr Charlton, 71, said: “The proposal is one of several which will between them completely alter the character of Northumberland.”
A little known Government rule, PPS2, should have prevented the bid ever getting to the planning stage as it forces developers to check if the turbines have any real chance of being passed. Malcolm Bowes, NEA assistant chief executive, said: “We want the RSS to set clear guidance on this for any future applications.”
:: Energy giant E.ON today unveiled plans to build one of the biggest wind farms in the UK. The company submitted an application to build the wind farm eight kilometres off the East Yorkshire coast, despite an MoD objection.
By Adrian Pearson
7 April 2008
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding