Burton Brook Wind Farm – application 13/00922/FUL refused

STOP PRESS: Planning permission refused again (10 September 2013)

A new Planning Application appeared as 13/00922/FUL

Despite the outright refusal of the planning application last October 2012, ProWind Uk have sent emails to parish councils and previous objectors asking for their views on a possible new application for the same Burton Brook location.  The planning application has now been lodged with HDC (June 2013).  The only difference appears to be reducing the height of the wind turbine (including blades) from 102m to 77m (still the height of 15 stacked Arriva double decker buses).

So far as I can see from the new application by ProWind on behalf of the Wyggeston Hospital, the blades are still 27m long, just that the hub is 25m lower. This single turbine would still be a major blot on the High Leicestershire landscape, and I intend objecting using similar arguments that I made to the previous application.

Original Application – October 2012

There were seventy-one individual objections for the application for the 102m high single wind turbine in the Burton Brook valley in Carlton Curlieu parish.  I would like to publicly thank all of those making comments for their interest and detailed remarks.

BOWindmillJuly13Objectors preparing to walk across the fields to the proposed location

The application came before the Harborough District Council Planning Committee on Tuesday 9 October.  The 16 pages of the planning officer’s observations, summaries of the comments made and recommendations covered the points made by the public and parish councils. The officer recommendation was to refuse the application based primarily on the scheme not being compliant with HDC Core Strategy policies CS9, CS11 and CS17 and Regional Plan Policy 40.  The reasons given were the size, siting, design and prominence of the turbine which would have appeared as a dominant and visually intrusive feature in the landscape, and would detrimentally affect the character of the High Leicestershire landscape.

Two people, including myself, spoke against the application and nobody for it.  Both the ecological and transport damage were covered between us, and I also pointed out that 102m high is equivalent to at least 21 stacked double decker Arriva buses!  I am sure that if the officer recommendation had been otherwise, many of the 71 objectors would have joined us.

As one of the committee members commented to me afterwards – “it’s a good job the recommendation wasn’t approved, otherwise we could’ve been here all night!”.

After a brief discussion, the Committee voted unanimously in favour of the recommendation to refuse.  So that is excellent news for those who voiced their objections.  We now have 12 weeks to wait and see whether the developer decides to appeal the decision.  If this happens, the final decision will be in the hands of a planning inspector based inBristol.

This specific turbine was too massive and in the wrong place, but I expect there may be applications for other large turbines over the next few years in the Chronicle area, while the current tariff levels are so favourable for their construction, and the EU energy targets have to be met.