A controversial planning enquiry over Carsington’s proposed wind farm needs to be properly publicised, says MP Patrick McLoughlin.
The West Derbyshire MP has written to the Derbyshire Dales District Council to ensure a public consultation period is advertised sufficiently.
He says he feels residents were “left in the dark” over opportunities to speak up with their views on the development last year.
Applicants Wind Energy Limited want to build huge wind turbines on an open hillside near Carsington Reservoir and Brassington village and controversy raged as soon as the plans were announced back in February last year.
Families living nearby are worried the turbines would have negative effects on the area – they cite noise, housing values, impacts on wildlife and tourism and a detrimental effect on the landscape as their chief worries.
The Derbyshire Dales District Council Southern Area Planning Committee turned down the application in October, saying that Carsington Pastures was not the right site.
But the applicants launched an appeal and it was announced in March that an eight-day enquiry would take place on July 1.
Mr McLoughlin now wants to make sure that anyone wishing to make a representation at the enquiry knows how to make their voice heard.
He has stepped in after residents complained that previous consultations over plans were not widely advertised.
In his letter to the district council, Mr McLoughlin said: “Last time an application was submitted, I received many complaints from constituents, who felt that events were not published widely enough.
“In this rural area I feel it is important for residents to be kept fully aware of their chances to voice their opinions on large local projects such as wind turbines.”
He is now urging families with concerns over the proposals to take part in the consultation, to make sure views are fully taken into account when the appeal is considered.
By Gareth Butterfield
21 May 2008
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