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Rutland County Council acts to limit windfarm developments

Developers will find it more difficult to secure planning permission for wind turbines after new guidelines were agreed this week.

Rutland county councillors approved a planning document which prevents wind turbines interfering with views of historic landmarks.

It also limits the number of turbines that can be built close together.

Wind turbines of up to 164ft in height will need to be located more than one mile apart. This distance increases for taller turbines.

Planning applications will have to include photographs to show the impact on the area.

Deputy leader of the council Terry King (Con) said: “The document will be a very useful tool for developers submitting future applications.

“The document is likely to be challenged from the development industry but it is good we have a guide that is relevant to development issues in our county.

“It will give them a steer on what can be done.”

Miles Williamson-Noble led the Woolfox Wind Farm Action Group which protested against SSE Renewables’ proposal for a temporary mast near Woolfox airfield which would measure wind speed ahead of a possible windfarm development.

The application was refused by the council but later allowed by a planning inspector on appeal.

Mr Williamson-Noble, who lives in Pickworth, said: “It is an excellent document and I would like to congratulate Rutland County Council.

“There’s now a clarity and guidance on what is acceptable.

“The national guides are somewhat lacking and not relevant for specific areas of the county.

“Each application should be treated on its own merit.

“I can agree with Mr King that I’m sure it will be challenged but at least we have a guide that we can argue against plans with.

“I look forward with interest to see how it is used for future applications.”

The wind turbine document is intended to provide more detailed guidance on the key issues that will need to be considered alongside planning applications.

It says turbine developments will be expected to be laid out, designed and located to minimise the impact on the landscape.

The 43-page guide was put together following consultation with interested parties, in line with the national planning policies.

Local authorities have beenadvised to design their policies to maximise renewable and low carbon energy development.

Wind turbine plans have been at the centre of debate within the county this year.

Plans to build two wind turbines in Ketton were dropped in August following a storm of protests from residents and a protest group. Proposals for a second 88ft wind turbine in Morcott were turned down by the council in September after they also faced strong opposition from residents.

The document is available to view online at www.rutland.gov.uk

 

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