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poplarsturbinePoplars Farm in Wappenham have submitted a planning application to South Northants Council for a single free standing wind turbine, with hard standing, an access road, a substation and trenching for cable.

Local farmer Aidan Jones wants to erect a single large wind turbine on his land between the villages of Syresham and Wappenham, close to National Cycle Route 50. There has been the inevitable opposition to his plans. If any of you – particularly those who live in the district or cyclists – could support Aidan’s plans, it would be much appreciated.

http://snc.planning-register.co.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=68383

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DSCF1140_editedBroadview Energy has reacted with disappointment to news that planning permission has been quashed for the proposed Spring Farm Ridge wind farm, following a successful legal challenge in the High Court by a local resident and South Northamptonshire Council.

Planning permission was granted by the government’s Planning Inspectorate for the erection of five wind turbines on agricultural land between the villages of Helmdon, Greatworth and Sulgrave in July of 2012, after completion of a two week long public inquiry. Following the granting of planning permission, a legal challenge was launched by South Northamptonshire Council and a local resident claiming that the inspector’s decision was unlawful on five separate grounds.

A High Court hearing subsequently took place in December of last year and the ruling, which was announced today, quashed the planning permission. It is important to note that the judge dismissed four of the five grounds in the challenges, specifically the impact assessments with respect to listed buildings, cultural heritage, noise and residential amenity. However, the remaining challenge did succeed, as Judge Mackie concluded that the planning inspector’s decision letter did not meet planning law requirements. Despite the decision in the High Court, the Spring Farm Ridge site is a well designed wind farm in an excellent location and Broadview will look to the Planning Inspectorate to initiate the process of re-determining the planning appeal.

Jeffrey Corrigan, Managing Director of Broadview Energy said: “We are obviously disappointed the judge has found that the inspector did not follow what was required of her by law when issuing her decision. This is especially so following the completion of an extensive and thorough public inquiry which was the culmination of a number of years of work resulting in significant cost for all parties. It is important to recognise that the main substance of the inspector’s judgement as to the acceptability of the scheme was not called into question and we will therefore look to work closely with the government’s Planning Inspectorate regarding the next steps.”

DSCF1169_editedSouth Northamptonshire Council has won a legal challenge against a planning inspector’s decision to approve a wind farm it claimed would cause a noise nuisance and have a damaging visual impact on the area.

South Northamptonshire Council originally refused the plans, for five wind turbines, each 125 metres tall, at Spring Farm Ridge, between Greatworth and Helmdon, in June 2011.

However, following an appeal by developer, Broadview Energy Limited, a planning inspector granted approval in July 2012.

Yesterday, Judge Mackie at London’s High Court ruled that the inspector failed to attach proper weight to policies in the council’s local development plan relating to protecting the landscape, heritage assets in the area and residential amenity.

The council is now seeking the judge’s confirmation of an order quashing the planning permission, and ordering the communities secretary, Eric Pickles, to have the matter reconsidered.

While acknowledging that the court should not readily interfere with an inspector’s decision, the judge said: “Nevertheless many people see their lives as being fundamentally affected by a decision to permit a large wind farm in their community. They are entitled to know whether the law has been followed by an Inspector whose decision is so crucial to them.”

He said that there was no doubt that the inspector identified the relevant development plan and “conscientiously weighed up the competing factors”.

However, he continued: “But as I read the decision she did not accord the development plan the priority required by law. At no point does she mention the priority due to the plan or express herself in terms that indicate that she is aware of the ‘plan led’ concept.”

“Recognising that I need to read the decision in a down to earth way as a whole and in context I detect no identification of the priority to be given to the plan. The exercise is a careful evaluation of competing considerations without any indication that the plan has priority.”

Lawyers for the government had argued that the inspector applied the correct test in granting planning permission and conducted a detailed assessment of the impact the development would have.

By Court reporter Thursday, 17 January 2013

DSCF1093_editedIan Cherry has recently applied for planning permission to erect a single wind turbine of 55m to tip height on his farm near Middleton Cheney in South Northants. He and his wife have been to see several and consider them to be wonderful machines and the power of the future, despite contacting his nearest neighbours to discuss his proposal prior to applying (they were against) they now find their is considerable oposition by the ‘nimby’ element who have erected banners/distributed leaflets and published inaccurate facts on a website.

The purpose of this request is to ask if members could send in positive comments to South Northants Council by 17th January 2012. The ‘nimby’ element have sent in a good many (negative comments) and my agents and we are hoping to address this.

The link below will take you to my application and we would greatly appreciate your support,

http://snc.planning-register.co.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=68261

Local anti-wind website – http://stopmiddletonwindfarm.co.uk/index.htm

Here is a good example of a comment to South Northants Council –

To the Planning Development Officer

Application reference: S/2012/1509/FUL, for the erection of
one wind turbine on land North West of Middleton Cheney in the
parish of Chacombe.

Please accept this notice as formal support for the follow reasons:-

Advantages:

– Clean electricity generation, it has no emissions
– Diversity of supply to locality or grid.
– Reduces need for fossil fuels
– Helps meet renewables targets, UK, EU
– Supports sustainable rural development, as per NPPF
– Helps finance landscape husbandry.
– Helps reduce carbon reduction payments
– Allows farming practices to continue unabated.
– Requires no inputs or fuel stores, no traffic disruption.

In addition I would like to register my experience in this matter and comment further.

As part of an environmental group of 60 + members, we strongly support evidence based analysis concerning wind turbines; as yet, no evidence has been substantiated to show any harmful effects (ref: Advertising Standards Authority). No noise profile within the ETSU guidelines has caused nuisance. Residential property prices are not affected (ref: RICS). Regular public polls shows support of 70 – 85%  for wind turbines (ref: ICM/ Yougov). Further information and references may be gleaned from our web site:-  www.prowa.org.uk

Grahame Jordan. (for and on behalf of the  Pro Wind Alliance)