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Planning concern over wind turbine

Planning officers have raised concerns about the impact of a proposed giant wind turbine at Uttoxeter Quarry ahead of a meeting to discuss the proposals next week.

East Staffordshire Borough Council’s planning committee meet on Monday when the sole item on the agenda will be to discuss its position on the 255ft turbine proposed by Aggregate Industries for Uttoxeter Quarry.

The authority is being consulted on the plans by Staffordshire County Council which will ultimately decide its fate.

In his report to the planning committee, borough council planning officer Jonathan Imber explains that the resolution of the planning committee will ‘inform the decision-making process’ but ‘will not directly determine whether or not the proposal gains consent’.

In the report Mr Imber outlines his recommendations of the concerns that the committee may want to pass on to the county council.

He says: “The proposed turbine is a large structure which is significantly taller than any other features within its landscape setting.

“The turbine is sited within a flat valley bottom and as such would be visible over a wide area. There are concerns that the proposed turbine would appear unduly prominent within this sensitive landscape context.

“The proposed turbine is in close proximity to several residential properties, notably Riversmede approximately 350 metres to the west.

“There are concerns that the proposed turbine could unacceptably affect the amenities enjoyed by the occupiers of nearby dwellings through a combination of increased noise and shadow flicker.

“It is recommended that the county council seeks specialist advice to verify the methodology and findings of the applicant’s noise assessment.

“There are also concerns that the proposed turbine could be incompatible with the restoration proposals of the quarry, particularly in terms of impact upon wildlife and recreational use of the land.”

Tim Claxton, senior estates surveyor at Uttoxeter Quarry, has responded to the officer’s concerns and told the Advertiser the plans submitted have been thoroughly prepared.

He said: “In developing our proposals we carried out a number of detailed studies and assessments to ensure that the proposed site is suitable for a turbine of this scale, and in response to public comment during the pre-application consultation stage, we have reduced the height of the proposed turbine.

“Our planning application provides a detailed assessment of all of the key issues that will help the county council to determine the application, including local amenity and compatibility with the restoration plans for the quarry.

“We hope to receive a decision on the application in the coming months.” East Staffordshire Borough Council meet to discuss the wind turbine plans at 3pm at Burton Town Hall on Monday and it is open to the public.