Melton Council says it has responded to public concern after receiving a detailed study looking at the impact of wind turbines on the borough’s landscape.
The landscape sensitivity study – commissioned jointly with Rushcliffe Council and which covers the Rushcliffe borough too – looks closely at all parts of the boroughs and how they will be affected by wind turbine proposals, ranging from smaller single installations to large-scale wind farms.
As of August 1 there were 16 wind energy schemes operating in the Melton and Rushcliffe boroughs.
Councillor Joe Orson, chairman of Melton Council’s environment committee which commissioned the study, said “We were asked to take action about the pressure we’re receiving from turbines. I’m pleased to welcome this report which provides a sound base on which to argue the landscape issues that these proposals give rise to that was previously lacking.
“Parish councils and ward members were involved in its production and by working with Rushcliffe we’ve achieved better value for money. The study will strengthen our position when dealing with these proposals.”
The study will now be used for the development of policies within the new emerging Local Plan that Melton is currently producing and used immediately in the assessment of planning applications for wind energy developments.
The report includes landscape sensitivity results for wind energy development across areas of the Melton borough, called ‘landscape character units’, including the Vale of Belvoir.
The study says: “Reflecting the scale of the landscapes across the two boroughs, the assessment has found that all of the landscape character units assessed are either ‘moderate-high’ or ‘high’ sensitivity to wind turbine developments of over 75m to blade tip, and all but one of the units have ‘high’ sensitivity to turbines of over 110m to blade tip.”
The report has been criticised by a Friends of the Earth group for ‘seriously overstating the impact of turbines’ but council officials said the study was just one factor in how turbines will be assessed.
View the complete study at http://www.melton.gov.uk/downloads/download/466/ melton_and_rushcliffe_landscape_sensitivity_study_wind_energy_development
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