POTENTIAL windfarms could have to go through stringent new planning guidelines before they are approved.
At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday night members agreed an option which will mean windfarms will have to be built at least 1,000 metres away from residential areas.
But protestors have claimed this distance is still not large enough and a 1,500 to 2,000 metre zone should be applied.
The motion will not be discussed until the next full council meeting but could put a number of current planning applications in doubt.
These include a five turbine windfarm close to Haversham, another close to the M1 and a third which would see 16 wind turbines built between Bozeat, Lavendon and Harrold.
Campaign group BLOT – Bozeat and Lavendon Opposing Wind Turbines – has been strongly contesting the latter development.
Brian Skittrall, BLOT chairman, said: “The proposal to change the distance to 1,000 metres is a lot better than the 350 metres that was first suggested.
“The original distance may have been fine when turbines were a fraction of the size they are now, but it’s important the council has taken into account the impacts the turbines have on people living close to them.
“People have still had problems with the sound of turbines from as far away as 2,000 metres though.”
Richard Pryor lives close to the potential development in Haversham and along with Councillor Philip Ayles he helped to create a portfolio of research that formed the basis of a Supplementary Planning Document in October.
He got involved after so many applications were made to build windfarms in Milton Keynes.
He said: “It is a technology that is not all that it’s cracked up to be. It will put people’s health and safety at risk.
“The recommendations from experts who spoke at the meeting on Tuesday were that for turbines of this size 1,500 to 2,000 metres was a more acceptable distance.
“I am not against wind turbines, I don’t want there to be a blanket ban on them but they have to be on a graduated scale.”
Council leader Councillor Andrew Geary left the room for the decision as he has a conflicting interest with the application as a windfarm may be erected close to his home.
He said: “Putting this out for review is the right thing to be doing.”