Green energy firm Ecotricity sparked fury among protesters and councillors after it supplied vital information to planning officials at the 11th hour, causing its wind park application to be deferred yet again.
It is the second time Stroud District Council has had to put off the decision on the four turbine wind park proposed for farmland near Stinchcombe due to a lack of information from the company.
At a meeting of the development control committee on Tuesday, members were informed that evidence relating to turbine noise that had been requested months ago had been submitted at 2pm the previous day.
It left the members with little choice but to defer the decision until next month for a new report to be written, although some councillors wanted to go ahead regardless.
Cllr Graham Trave said: “This application has been going through for quite some time now, and as an authority we have done everything we can to try to get the information needed.
“Is it not reasonable to say we have adequate information now to make a decision because I think there are more factors to consider than just noise?”
Objectors, who have been campaigning against the proposed four 120 metre high turbines for over a year, said they were angry the information had turned up at the last minute.
Jack Sant, spokesman for Save Berkeley Vale campaign group, said: “We are very annoyed this information has gone in at the last minute, but in light of this we believe there was no option but to defer the decision.
“But we would also like to stress that there are many more important issues, not just noise, that should be taken into consideration when looking at the application, such as the overbearing nature of the structures.”
At the same meeting Cllr Dennis Andrewartha called for the wind speeds, collected by Ecotricity’s monitoring mast, to be released to help inform their decision.
He said: “If there is no wind there, why impose the disadvantages of the structures on the residents, that is part of the argument?”
Chief planning officer Phil Skill said he was as frustrated as anybody about the delay and wanted to know why the information had taken so long to turn up.
He added: “This is a very major, significant development, it is the biggest thing that has happened to this parish since the M5, but the final decision must be made knowing all the facts.”
Dale Vince, founder and manager director of Ecotricity, said: “We’re pleased that this decision has been deferred. In the last few days we’ve been working with Stroud District Council to clear up some misunderstandings and to make sure they have all the information they need, something which we were able to complete late Monday.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding