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Council has power to decide if wind farms are too close to homes  

Credit:  www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk 1 January 2011 ~~

East Riding councillors have been told it’s up to them to decide whether proposed wind farms are too close to nearby homes.

Politicians at County Hall had asked ministers for clarification over planning rules determining the minimum distance between new wind farm developments and residential properties.

It came after the authority’s planning committee rejected two separate wind farm schemes close to the village of Spaldington, near Howden, in September.

Earmarked for sites on either side of the village, the two proposed farms would have seen a dozen 126m high turbines being built.

Councillors refused planning permission after hearing that 24 houses would be within 775m of the nearest turbines.

If the Spaldington schemes had been given the go-ahead, they would have been the closest of any wind farm developments in East Riding to nearby homes.

Now planning minister Greg Clark has written to the authority saying there is no specific guidance for councils over the proximity of wind farms to residential properties.

In his letter, he said each application should be determined on its merits.

Alan Menzies, East Riding Council’s director of planning and economic regeneration, said the minister’s views on the issue were very clear.

“He has said there is no guidance on minimum distances and it is up to local authorities to decide on a case by case basis.

“He has also confirmed there are no proposals to by the Government to introduce any kind of exclusion zone between wind farms and houses.”

Councillors have turned down a series of proposed wind farms across the East Riding over the last three years only to have their decisions overturned on appeal.

Coriolis Energy and Falck (CORRECT) Renewables, the companies behind the five-turbine scheme at the former Spaldington airfield, has confirmed its is appealing against the refusal in September.

In a statement, it said:

“Given that a wind farm in this area would have the potential to make a contribution to meeting both national and local renewable energy objectives for the increased use of renewable energy, we believe that the wind farm proposal warrants an independent review.

“The committee did not discuss the environmental benefits of the wind farm and as such Coriolis and Falck have decided to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.”

Volkswind, the company promoting the seven-turbine scheme at Spaldington Common, has yet to announce whether it will submit an appeal.

Source:  www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk 1 January 2011

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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