The Secretary of State has been told community concerns about plans for a wind turbine in Stone have not been sufficiently addressed.
Hallmark Power’s application for a 272-metre turbine near Cotwalton Road, Cotwalton, was refused unanimously by Stafford Borough Council’s planning committee in May 2014.
The Secretary of State is deciding upon a planning appeal by Hallmark Power against the rejection of its plans.
Matt Ellis, development lead for Planning and Regeneration at the council, has written to the Planning Inspectorate in regard to the appeal.
Mr Ellis said the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Greg Clark) on June 18 stated that where a council’s development plan does not identify suitable sites for wind energy development, planning authorities can find the plans acceptable if “following consultation, they are satisfied it has addressed the planning impacts identified by affected local communities and therefore has their backing.”
He said the Plan for Stafford Borough does not identify particular areas suitable for wind energy generation and it is considered the proposals do not have community backing.
He said in the letter: “It is noted that the local community made a significant number of representations about the proposed turbines in circa 300 letters of objection which were received prior to the receipt of the appeal.
“As set out in its Appeal Statement, the Council considers that issues of landscape and visual impact including that of the impact on the setting of the Moddershall Valley Conservation Area and issues of shadow flicker as raised in neighbour representations have not been adequately addressed.”
A final comments statement on behalf of Hallmark Power regarding the appeal said residents formed an action group which gathered more than 200 objections and a 1,800-signature petition. But the statement added that only 48 letters were received objecting, some of which were from the same address and that equated to only 2.4 per cent of the original opposition. The statement added: “The appellants consider this level of opposition is not overwhelming.”
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