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Council under ‘enormous pressure’ to accept wind turbine plans  

Credit:  By Bobby Bridge | Tamworth Herald | January 15, 2014 | www.tamworthherald.co.uk ~~

The leader of North Warwickshire Borough Council stressed his authority is not against all wind turbine applications.

Labour Councillor Mick Stanley said the council is only “against wind turbines in the wrong place”, following the planning board’s decision to reject a 130m turbine in Dosthill on Monday.

He said: “The government planning guidance strongly supports wind turbines. Councils are under enormous government pressure to give them permission. If councils refuse the companies invariably appeal, using the government guidance to try to overturn the decision. So our decision is unlikely to be the end of the matter. “Once again we have asserted the right of local people, acting through the local council, to decide about a planning application that will affect their lives.

“We did a similar thing over the recent development at Grendon and a proposal to build houses in Newton Regis. This is a council that is on the side of local people in hard times. We are faced with a government intent on destroying local democracy in order to support big business. But we were elected to serve local people and not big business or central government.

“We are not against all wind turbines. In the right place they can be good. We have recently approved one. We are against wind turbines in the wrong place. This was the wrong place.”

The government has announced that it is preparing to mount a new attack on planning laws by giving developers the power to push through applications without the need for council approval or environmental assessment

In a move described by planning experts as a “nuclear option”, developers will be allowed to ignore local authorities if they delay decisions on conditions attached to planning applications.

The Coalition is also planning to remove the need for developers to assess the impact of some large housing estates, shopping centres and industrial estates on the countryside.

Nick Boles MP, the planning minister, said that the reforms will “significantly cut the burdens of unnecessary planning applications” and “save the industry precious time and money”.

Cllr Stanley added: “These reforms could see local communities held to ransom by developers and force councils to wave through unpopular planning applications. Local democracy is now under sustained assault from central government.”

Source:  By Bobby Bridge | Tamworth Herald | January 15, 2014 | www.tamworthherald.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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