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Secretary of State backs council on wind turbine  

Credit:  By James Brindle, Uttoxeter Advertiser, www.uttoxeter-news.co.uk 6 December 2011 ~~

An energy firm has been thwarted in its latest attempt to push forward plans for a 250ft wind turbine on countryside near Abbots Bromley.

Renewable energy consultancy firm Arcus had asked East Staffordshire Borough Council (ESBC) in September whether it could go ahead with submitting plans for the giant turbine at Bagots Park without having to undertake a costly Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

This submission came a matter of weeks after the council had rejected plans from SSE Renewables for an eight-turbine wind farm development on the same site.

ESBC told Arcus that an EIA would need to be carried out prior to any planning application because of the scale of the proposed development and the likely impact on local amenities.

As a result Arcus decided to take the matter to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Governments in an attempt to get ESBC’s decision overturned.

However, the energy firm have been unsuccessful in that bid and will now need to carry out the EIA if it wants to press ahead with the plans, due to the proposed size of the turbine.

In a reply to Arcus, Karen Rose writing on behalf of the Secretary of State, also said the development ‘would be likely to have significant effects on the environment, because of its size and location’.

It was also commented that the site’s close proximity to the Site of Special Scientific Interest, Goat Lodge, was also an issue which needed exploring in an EIA.

She said: “Any application for planning permission for this development must be accompanied by an environmental statement.” ESBC Councillor Robert Hardwick (pictured), who represents the Crown ward and has spoken many times against plans for Bagots Park, told the Advertiser he was happy with the Secretary of State’s decision.

He said: “I am pleased the Secretary of State has found in our favour and recognises the environmental sensitivities that exist in and around Bagots Park.

“It vindicates the position taken by local people who are concerned about the potentially devastating environmental consequences of introducing alien industrial structures into this sensitive environment.

“In my opinion I believe the minimal amount energy that could be produced on this low wind site can never out weight its impact on the local environment”

Source:  By James Brindle, Uttoxeter Advertiser, www.uttoxeter-news.co.uk 6 December 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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