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Wind farm planned stalled

A decision on the controversial plans to build a wind farm in the countryside just outside Leighton-Linslade is likely to be mothballed until at least the end of the year, it was revealed this week.

Delays, caused by demands from Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) for a comprehensive bat survey for the Dorcas Lane site, near Stoke Hammond, and a dispute over planning fees paid by the applicants, Force 9 Energy, has resulted in the public consultation process being started all over again and it isn’t likely to finish until November. Scheduling of council meetings means that the plan may be ready for discussion by the council’s development control committee in December but it is more likely to be held over until the new year.

AVDC, having reviewed the plans, discovered that Force 9 had only paid £27,470 to process the application instead of the expected £131,565. In normal circumstances they would ask for the application to be withdrawn and resubmitted.

But, in view of the considerable public involvement and consultation that has already taken place, they suggested the application be frozen until receipt of the correct fee and the bat survey information at the end of the summer.

This means that the 16-week determination period would start from receipt of the new fee, ensuring that the council has time to make a determination removing the risk of the developer appealing for non determination.

Force 9 now plan a comprehensive bat survey in late summer. The determination period has been extended providing the remaining planning fee is paid by August 8.

For more on this story see the April 24 issue of the Leighton Buzzard Observer.