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Ministers snub calls for new wind turbine rules  

Credit:  Hull Daily Mail, www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk 22 June 2012 ~~

A review of guidelines on how far proposed wind turbines should be sited away from homes and roads is unlikely, according to East Riding Council leader Stephen Parnaby.

The issue has emerged as one of the key concerns among residents in a number of recent planning battles over wind farm schemes in the area.

There is currently no set minimum limit on how close wind turbines can be built to homes, roads and public rights of way.

Last September, a Government planning inspector allowed an appeal to build five turbines at Spalding airfield, near Howden.

One of the turbines at the site will stand just 750m from the nearest residential property.

At the same time, the inspector also rejected a separate seven- turbine scheme for another site at Spaldington after claiming it would create an “unpleasant, overwhelming and oppressive” outlook for people living nearby.

The inspector’s decisions prompted Howdenshire ward councillor Paul Robinson to move a full council motion asking the Government to consider including a national minimum distance between turbines and affected communities in new renewable energy planning guidance.

But speaking at this week’s full council meeting, Councillor Parnaby said creating minimum distance limits was not currently on the Government’s agenda.

He said a recently published House of Commons paper on the issue had rejected the idea of a minimum separation distance.

“Following Councillor Robinson’s motion in October, the response from the Secretary of State was not positive and in view of the outcome of the House of Commons recent paper on this issue, I would seriously question the value of this authority raising this matter again.”

Councillor Parnaby said each wind turbine application was decided on its own merits.

He said: “The planning system addresses each individual planning application on its own merit.

“The Government has maintained its support for onshore wind farms through policy advice and there are sufficient checks and balances in the system to ensure that issues such as proximity to turbines from residential properties are appropriately dealt with.”

He said the two decisions on the Spaldington applications had highlighted the complex approach now being taken by planning inspectors when assessing the impact of a wind farm on a local community.

He also said a recent statement by Lincolnshire County Council appearing to rule out any further wind farm developments in its area needed to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Councillor Parnaby said planning decisions in Lincolnshire were made by district councils, not the county council.

He said: “The position taken by the county council provides a broad political statement about onshore wind farms but it needs to be looked at carefully in the context of Government advice on renewable energy policy.”

Source:  Hull Daily Mail, www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk 22 June 2012

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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