Tougher guidelines to help protect the region from the blight of unsuitable turbines or solar panels will be rolled out in South Gloucestershire.
The local authority is set to publish new stricter guidance to ensure that wind farms, solar panels, heat pumps and other energy-saving technologies which could come forward in the forseeable future are built in the right place and cause minimum disruption.
The Renewable Energy Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) will include a range of factors for planners to consider when reviewing an application.
A Landscape Character Assessment report released in 2005 will also be updated to take account of any significant and recent changes in the landscape.
The renewable energy guidelines were supposed to be in place months ago and form part of the South Gloucestershire Council’s 15-year planning blueprint, also known as its core strategy.
But delays in getting the strategy approved have pushed back Councillor Matthew Riddle who successfully fought against plans for an industrial-scale wind farm near Oldbury, is part of the small working group of local members charged with shaping the document.
“Whilst I’m disappointed that it has taken so long, I’m encouraged that we are now getting underway with producing this new planning guidance to strengthen the protection of our beautiful local landscape because it’s been over a year since I asked for it,” he said.
“We know there is intense interest from the wind industry in the countryside that surrounds Thornbury and so we need to have tough tests in place to make sure that they are only provided in appropriate locations where they command community support.”
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