A public consultation has begun over a controversial last-minute amendment to the Wiltshire Core Strategy which, if adopted, could put an end to any future wind farms being built in the county.
The consultation, which runs until November 1, was requested by a planning inspector after the document, which governs future planning and development, was submitted to the secretary of state.
The amendment, inserted by councillors, aims to create minimum separation distances between wind turbines and homes but green energy campaigns fear there would not be any suitable places for wind development left in the county.
Rowena Quantrill, a founder member of the Wiltshire Clean Energy Alliance, which is campaigning against the amendment, said: “Wiltshire Council itself has recognised wind farms and biomass as the two key renewable energy opportunities for Wiltshire, so to stop all wind farm development at a stroke would be entirely counterproductive. “Supporters of wind farms tend to be the silent majority. I’d urge people to speak up and comment on this consultation to have their voices heard.
“Renewables can help Wiltshire become more energy independent and offer great opportunities for communities to benefit too.”
In addition to tackling the wind farm issue, the consultation also involves matters relating to traveller sites and future housing developments.
The Core Strategy, submitted by Wiltshire Council in July for independent examination by a government-appointed inspector, is due to be examined in public later this year.
Cabinet member for economic development and strategic planning Fleur de Rhe-Philipe said: “The Wiltshire Core Strategy is a vital document which will shape communities and ensure they grow in an appropriate and managed way. “We are nearly at the stage where an inspector will examine the strategy in public.
“As this is an evolving document drafted over a number of years we have had to update it to reflect various changes.
“We thank everyone who commented on the strategy during the last round of consultation. Their comments have already been sent to the inspector. We would now welcome people’s views on the matters being raised through this consultation.”
All the consultation documents can be viewed, commented on and downloaded via the council’s consultation portal consult.wiltshire.gov.uk/portal; viewed via wiltshire.gov.uk/planninganddevelopment/planningpolicy/wiltshirecorestrategy.htm or at Wiltshire Council libraries during normal opening hours and at the Wiltshire Council office in Milford Street, Salisbury.
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