A campaigner who is calling for a slow down on further wind farm approvals in Northumberland will make his case direct to senior county council planners later this week.
Retired business analyst Bill Short hopes the meeting will result in planning officials agreeing to carry out a major re-evaluation of the county’s policy on dealing with future wind turbine applications.
Mr Short claims England’s most northerly county is doing far more than its fair share on meeting renewable energy targets, and has already approved four times as much wind generation as any other county outside the North East. The veteran environmental campaigner from Kirkwhelpington, says Northumberland is already meeting targets set for 2060 – and it is now time to take stock on the issue of how many more massive turbines should be given the green light.
He has now presented his findings – using national statistics from the Department for Energy and Claim Change – to two of the council’s area committees.
On Friday he will give the presentation to senior planning officers at County Hall in an attempt to force a policy re-think.
And Mr Short said he was delighted to get the chance to make his presentation to planning officers, who will advise councillors on future wind energy applications.
“My hope is that the officers will gain a fuller understanding of the issues, because they are looking at Northumberland and don’t have the time to do the full national analysis that I have done,” he said.
“I believe Northumberland needs to re-evaluate its policy on renewable energy in light of the current data.
“There is now no desperate rush towards more renewable energy because we have hit our targets.
“The council needs to re-establish robust and effective policy control in response to excessive wind farm proposals.”
Mr Short’s report says Northumberland consumes 172mw of energy a year on average. Achieving the national target of generating 20% of that from renewable sources by 2020 involves 34mw.
However, the county already has approvals for wind turbines totaling 273mw. Mr Short says that when this capacity is converted into actual generation, it still amounts to 76mw.
That is double the 2020 target, and even in excess of the 2060 target of 40% from renewables.
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