An application for a giant wind turbine in Uttoxeter has finally been submitted to planning chiefs after months of debate – but a group opposing it have vowed not to back down.
Aggregate Industries and AGRenewables have submitted plans for the 78-metre (255ft) high turbine at Uttoxeter Quarry, in Spath, to Staffordshire County Council’s planning committee The application follows a period of public consultation where the companies were keen to address community concerns around visual impact and reduced the maximum height of the proposed turbine from 87m to 78m.
Tim Claxton, senior estates surveyor at Uttoxeter Quarry, said: “The planning application for a single wind turbine has now been submitted to Staffordshire County Council and it is in the process of being validated. The decision of whether the turbine is appropriate at Uttoxeter Quarry now rests with the council.
“The planning application itself contains a very thorough assessment of the various potential impacts of the proposed turbine, covering areas such as visual impact, ecology, and noise.
“Energy generation from renewable sources, such as wind, is a sustainable form of development and the Government’s new National Planning Policy Framework states that there should be a presumption in favour of granting permission for developments which are sustainable.
“If approved the turbine will not affect Aggregate Industries’ commitment to restoring the quarry to leisure and amenity use, nor will it affect the proposed sports pitches at the quarry, which we are committed to working on with the Uttoxeter Cricket Club and Uttoxeter Junior Football Club.
“In fact there is an opportunity for the sports facility and other leisure and tourism uses to benefit from the renewable electricity the turbine would generate.
“We will continue to listen to the views of the local community throughout the planning process.” However, Uttoxeter Wind Turbine Action Group (UWTAG) said it was ‘disappointed’ Aggregates has continued to push for the turbine.
Spokesman David Bown said: “By submitting the planning application, they have, as clearly stated in the words of Andrew Griffiths MP, ‘stuck two fingers up at the people of Uttoxeter’.
“We have been inundated with people asking how they can object to the application. Once the application is validated, we will communicate this through our website and through any outlets available to us.
“What is of particular concern to us is the admission by the Valuation Office Agency, (the Government body responsible for Council Tax Banding) over the last few days that turbines do in fact reduce house prices.” Artist’s impressions, which were released by Aggregates last month, can be viewed at www.aggregatewinduttoxeter.co.uk
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