November 9, 2012

780 against wind turbine

By Jenny Moody | 8 November 2012 |

Nearly 800 people have written to council chiefs over proposals for a giant wind turbine in Uttoxeter with a further 330 signing a petition.

Staffordshire County Council’s planning committee has received more than 780 individually signed standard letters and a petition with more than 330 signatures in response to the application by Aggregates Industries and AGRenewables for a 255ft (78m) wind turbine on Uttoxeter Quarry, in Spath.

The authority, which will ultimately decide whether the turbine is given the go ahead, said the number was as of September 3.

The council said: “We have now received more than 780 individually signed standard letters and a petition with over 330 signatures.

“We will not be acknowledging the standard letters individually or sending an acknowledgement letter to anyone who has signed the petition.

“Nevertheless, we will ensure that the number of standard letters and signatures to the petition, together with the views expressed, are reported to the planning committee.”

The council’s environment chief has also welcomed a Government review of onshore wind farm development in England.

New Energy Minister, John Hayes, has declared that ‘enough is enough’ and the country can ‘no longer have wind turbines imposed on communities.’ The minister has ordered a new analysis of the case for onshore wind power, which would form the basis of future government policy.

Last month, the council’s cabinet agreed wind farm should not be located in areas where they would damage the Staffordshire landscape or its economy.

Mark Winnington, cabinet member for environment and assets, said wind farm developments should not be allowed to blight communities.

He said: “While we understand the need for renewable energy, I think that many people will agree that enough is enough.

“I am pleased that central Government has now come out and agreed that this is the case.

“Staffordshire is a predominantly rural county and has some outstanding landscapes which should not be compromised by large scale wind energy developments.

“Similarly we do not want to see them anywhere where they could have a detrimental impact on the local economy, particularly our ever expanding tourism industry.”

The council’s position on wind turbine applications also recommends large scale wind energy developments should be a minimum of 2km from residential areas.

The energy minister said he was confident the Government would achieve its 2020 renewable energy targets from developments already consented or in planning even if many were rejected.

The new research on wind turbines will take a far more wide-reaching assessment of their impact on the rural landscape and also on issues such as house prices.

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