March 5, 2012

Just because our turbines may be ‘visually dominating’ that’s no reason for you to refuse them, council told

Wisbech Standard, 5 March 2012

Two wind turbines in March will impact on nearby homes but will “not be so overbearing and overwhelming that they dominate a property, devalue it or make it an unpleasant place to live.”

That’s the claim put forward by Waste Recycling Group who have revived their £15,000 planning application first submitted two years ago for turbines at March Landfill site in Hundred Road.

The company has told Fenland District Council that planning inspectors elsewhere have considered applications where turbines have been seen as visually dominating on the landscape. But, says WRG, these have been allowed to progress “because there were no other effects such as noise or shadow flicker impacts and the public interest outweighed private views”.

WRG admit the two 125 metre turbines will become “a large, obtrusive structure within the landscape” and will have a significant impact. Just because turbines have such an impact, however, “they should not be refused planning permission. There must be something over and above the fact that they are visually dominating.

“We do not consider there are any exceptional circumstances surrounding the Hundred Road development which warrant refusal on the basis of visual impacts.” Dr Chris Leach, senior environmental engineer of WRG’s agents Parsons Brinckerhoff says the application should only be considered by Fenland Council if the county council gives WRG an extension of life to the landfill site.

WRG say shadow flicker has been considered as a possibility for Whitemoor Prison inmates and for residents along the Wisbech Road. However they are confident an assessment shows the potential for this is no more than 39 hours a year.

They say this is a worse case scenario having only considered topography “and having discounted factors such as screening by existing vegetation and buildings, lack of wind speed and cloud cover which serve to reduce the occurrence of shadow flicker”.

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