Council stands tall on wind turbines

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COUNCIL leader Andrew Geary said the authority would not be threatened by large companies seeking planning permission for expansive windfarms.

At an extraordinary meeting of the Cabinet, held last Wednesday, councillors took the decision to stand firm on wind turbine plans which will limit their placement in the city.

They recommended that the Cabinet adopts the Wind Turbines Supplementary Planning Document and Emerging Policy.

This will mean that turbines up to 25 metres tall can be placed anywhere, regardless of their proximity to housing.

Separation distances are introduced on a sliding scale for turbines up to 100m with anything taller requiring a separation distance of at least 1km.

Mr Geary said: “We needed to bring the plans up to date because they were last looked at in 1996 when turbines were just 40 to 50 metres tall.”

Mr Geary insisted that the council was not bowing to the threat of legal action from prosepctive developers nPower.

However, Councillor Alan Francis, who represents the Green Party, said: “I spoke against the council policy plans because it effectively bans any more wind turbines being built in the city.

“It states that there must be a separation of at least 1km if they are above 100 metres tall.

“If this is the case then the only available place for them is in Emberton, where they already have them. Banning renewable resources is counter-productive.”

RWE npower developer Sarah Lee, said: “We are disappointed that the council has decided to push through the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which goes against National Guidance at a time when the renewable energy industry needs a predictable and transparent consenting system to protect future investments.”