Council awaits High Court judgement in turbine row

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The battle for wind turbines in Milton Keynes has taken to the High Courts as the council faced off against RWE npower renwables last Thursday.

Milton Keynes Council’s policy to increase the distance wind turbines must be from homes led to the German power company calling for a Judicial Review.

The policy will be watched with anticipation by councils up and down the country which are also concerned with the giant turbines coming too close to homes in their areas.

Mark Lancaster, MP for Milton Keynes North, believes the council made the right decision to introduce their Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) last July.

He said: “It is a sad state of affairs when a large multinational company can try and interfere with the democratic process for their own gain.

“I hope very much that common sense will prevail and residents in Milton Keynes will be allowed to have local planning rules they asked for implemented.”

And Councillor Andrew Geary, leader of Milton Keynes Council, added: “The council has worked in the residents best interests throughout the process of creating the SPD and it received cross party support.

“It is disappointing that the general will of the people could be overturned. The SPD was implemented in order to protect residents from the negative and adverse effects of wind turbines following overwhelming professional evidence and it is absolutely right that the council fights RWE over this.”

Patrick Upton, a resident of Little Linford who has been fighting against the plans to build turbines near his home said: “These guidelines are an excellent example of local democracy at work as intended in the 2011 Localism Act. They are there to protect nearby residents from the noise, vibrations, “shadow flicker”, and other disturbing effects of wind turbines which can seriously damage people’s health.

“There has been a great deal of research showing how much individuals can suffer if they are too close. This is a health and safety issue and MK Council are to be commended for addressing the needs of their residents.

“These guidelines do not prevent wind farms in the MK area but ensure that developers take into account the distance from homes depending on the turbine height.”

But Dr Wayne Cranstone, RWE npower renewables onshore development and projects director said: “RWE npower renewables is seeking clarity from the High Court over this issue as we remain seriously concerned that the process adopted by Milton Keynes Council was flawed and in contradiction to national policy.

“We support properly implemented planning policies that provide a fair and responsible framework for the assessment of applications.

“The activity the industry undertakes is fundamental in helping support the UK to meet renewable energy targets, create thousands of jobs, reduce the impact of climate change and increase the security of energy supply.”

The results of the review are expected be revealed within two months.