September 18, 2014

Wetley Rocks wind turbine recommended for approval

Leek Post & Times | September 17, 2014 |

A wind turbine could soon be erected in Wetley Rocks despite objections from 63 residents and Cheddleton Parish Council.

Planning officer Rachel Simpkin has recommended that members of the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council planning applications committee approve the erection of a 34.5 metre (113 feet) to blade tip turbine at Wood End Farm.

The application predicts that the turbine would generate 168,000 kWH per annum reducing carbon emissions by 40 tonnes pr annum and would produce electricity equalling the consumption of 91 homes.

The electricity generated would either be used directly or exported to the National Grid.

Cheddleton Parish Council said that the turbine would have a visual impact in the Green Belt, while objectors stated the turbine would be huge and an eyesore for those living in the surrounding area.

Concern was also raised over the noise and its closeness to a school building.

A report for councillors by the planning officer said: “Although the turbines structure would be seen as a highly engineered development contrasting with the established building pattern, locally prominent but not over dominant. At longer range, while the turbine will be visible, its relatively modest scale for a structure of this type would mean that its impacts quickly reduce with distance.

“The proposal, owing to its scale, is judged at this location, not to impact significantly on the openness of the Green Belt.”

Planning officers have also recommended that approval be given for a 17.75 metre to blade tip turbine on land north west of Lane End Farm, Cowall Moor Lane, Lask Edge.

Biddulph Town Council recommended refusal as it being inappropriate in the Green Belt and would have an adverse effect on tourism.

Planning officer Arne Swithenbank said: “There has been a planning appeal decision against the refusal of a similar scale turbine at The Sands, Brown Edge, which was allowed on the basis that the very substantial weight to be given to tackling climate change clearly outweigh the substantial weight to be attached to harm to the Green belt by reason of inappropriateness, and the limited harm to openness and the appearance of the area.”

However Mr Swithenbank has recommended that a 45 metre (147 feet) to blade tip turbine is refused on land east of Bemersely Road, Brown Edge.

Brown Edge Parish Council stated that the proposal was considered overpoweringly dominant, conflicting in particular with Greenway Country Park, local walks and the 2,000 residents of Brown Edge.

In his report Mr Swithenbank said: “The proposal would be definition be inappropriate in the Green Belt and by reason of its large scale and engineered urban form would significantly undermine several of the key purposes of including land in the Green Belt.”

All three planning application will be heard this Thursday (September 18).

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