Friday, 27 November 2015

Subscriptions  |  evouchers  |  Jobs  |  Property  |  Motors  |  Travel  |  Dating  |  Family Notices

Planners wait to see what turbines rules change will mean to Cumbria

More applications for wind turbines in west Cumbria are likely to be turned down under new Government rules, Allerdale council’s top planner has said.

Allerdale scrutiny committee photo
Allerdale’s scrutiny committee looks into the number of wind turbines being erected

Kevin Kerrigan, head of development services, is currently digesting the news that communities secretary Eric Pickles plans to put more emphasis on protecting the local environment when it comes to onshore turbines.

The detail of the change has yet to be published but Mr Kerrigan said it would mean that the need for renewable energy would not automatically override environmental protection and the planning concerns of communities.

He added: “I think there will be more refusals of planning applications but each application must be considered on its own merits.”

Mr Kerrigan said it represented a shift of balance which could make it easier for councils to refuse planning permission but it was too early to tell how big an impact it would have.

His comments came as the council sub committee continued its inquiry into the proliferation of wind turbines in Allerdale.

Evidence submitted to the inquiry by trade association RenewableUK said there was an urgent need for significant expansion in onshore wind development as offshore projects could not deliver on targets by 2020.

Marion Fitzgerald, of Friends of Rural Cumbria’s Environment (Force), suggested ways to make it easier for councillors to reject plans. She said reports to the development control committee could list possible reasons for refusing planning permission even if the recommendation was to approve plans.

She said: “The Environment Secretary, Owen Patterson, has recently said that ‘windfarms are causing huge unhappiness across the country’. This unhappiness exists in Allerdale and surely any council’s first duty it to the well-being of residents.”

But Celia Tibble, sub committee chairman and former planning committee member, said officers had to give a single recommendation and a choice of two possibilities was not allowed.

The inquiry was launched after Councillor Bill Finlay questioned why Allerdale has more wind turbines than Cumbria’s other boroughs.

It found that Allerdale had more areas of high wind which were not within the Lake District National Park than other boroughs.

It also found that the number of turbines largely reflected the number of applications received.

There was no evidence that whether applications were seen by the development panel or dealt with by officers made a difference.

The sub committee’s report will go to the scrutiny board next month before being considered by full council in September.


News & Star What's On search


Will you be joining in the Black Friday spree?

Yes - great chance to bag a bargain

No - I'll be giving it a wide berth

I've done all my Christmas shopping already!

Show Result

Hot jobs
Scan for our iPhone and Android apps
Search for: