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Turbine firm blows a fuse over council  

Energy giant Ecotricity has taken its bid to build a wind farm near East Langdon to the Government.

The firm has appealed to the Planning Inspectorate to decide on giving permission for five turbines to be installed between East Langdon and Pineham on the grounds of non-determination by the district council.

Ecotricity managing director Dale Vince has blasted the council for “dragging its heels” over the application made last year.

He said: “The council has not just slightly over run. They have been very slow and very difficult. If they were trying to deal with the application we would not have considered the appeal but they are deliberately dragging their heels and we have decided enough is enough: an appeal will commence.

“The Planning Inspectorate has picked this up and I think we will now get a decision within the next 12 months. There are not a lot of other wind farm appeals in Kent so hopefully we will get an early date.

“The council is running away from this, shame on it. It has gone on long enough and there is support from the majority of people who want green energy.

“The council has not contacted us about an issue or confusion which means it needs more time. This case is straight forward and requires a yes or no but we have had nothing at all.

“This now means the council will be spending ratepayers’ money fighting an appeal.”

Once the Planning Inspectorate register the appeal the matter will be taken out of the hands of DDC.

A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government, which oversees the Planning Inspectorate, said: “An inspector will be appointed and they will set a date for a hearing. Everybody’s views will be heard and then a decision will be made.”

Chairman of the Langdon Action Group Anthony Hyde said the application has not had a decision made on it because it is flawed. He said the group now needs to look at what the planning committee would have recommended at this point before deciding on action.

He said: “I believe there’s only one recommendation that could have been put to the planning committee at this stage and that would have been refusal because there are so many unanswered questions.

“We want to deal with the situation sooner rather than later as all the time this goes on people’s houses are blighted.

“We will make sure we put a strong case forward and make sure the appeal gets overthrown.

“Although Ecotricity have gone for appeal on non-determination, and have been talking to DDC for two years, the application was only submitted in November. It is a major application and it’s sheer arrogance on behalf of Ecotricity to go for non-determination.

“Ecotricity believe they can persuade national Government that it is good for national policy. They are saying sod local people.”

A Dover District Council spokesman said: “We can confirm there is an appeal against non determination with the Planning Inspectorate. The circumstances will be reported to the planning committee in due course.”

?What is the application?

Ecotricity wants to install five Enercon E82 turbines on land off Archers Court Road, between East Langdon and Pinewood.

The turbines, which will have a 30-year life span, will be 394 ft high with blades measuring 135 ft. The turbines will have a 10 megawatt capacity, enough to power 9,000 homes.

Kathy Bailes

This Is Kent

24 April 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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