Wiltshire's wind farm proximity policy blown away

Sophy Fearnley-Whittingstall

Sophy Fearnley-Whittingstall

First published in News

Green energy campaigners are celebrating after the inspector ordered Wiltshire Council to delete its policy on wind farms from the Core Strategy.

The council had planned to impose a minimum separation distance between housing and new wind developments, which would essentially prevent any from being built in the county.

However, Planning Inspector Andrew Seaman ordered this policy be struck out of the document.

The Wiltshire Clean Air Alliance, which campaigns for renewable energy in the county, has opposed the plans since they were introduced in 2012.

Its co-ordinator, Sophy Fearnley-Whittingstall, said: “We are very pleased that the Planning Inspector has said this.

“Planning policy should be open-minded and un-biased, and wind farm applications should be judged on a case-by-case basis in line with national policy, which already has robust guidance on appropriate locations for wind turbines.

“Since this policy was introduced almost two years ago, all forms of wind development in Wiltshire – both commercial and community – have been on hold, which is a shame. But now we will have a stronger policy in Wiltshire that will set an important precedent for other local authorities.”

She also confirmed the first site to benefit from the change in policy could be the Thoulstone Farm site near Chapmanslade, where plans for turbines had previously been shelved.

The owners of family beef farm are looking to develop the site for wind turbines with Swansea-based developer Seren Energy Limited, in an attempt diversify activities at the farm.

Comments (13)

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7:45am Fri 18 Apr 14

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

It would have been useful if the article actually mentioned what the minimum separation distance was, but I guess that means doing some research....!

For anyone interested, the info is at this link.
http://www.ref.org.u
k/publications/277-w
iltshire-council-win
d-turbine-separation
-distances-from-dwel
lings
It would have been useful if the article actually mentioned what the minimum separation distance was, but I guess that means doing some research....! For anyone interested, the info is at this link. http://www.ref.org.u k/publications/277-w iltshire-council-win d-turbine-separation -distances-from-dwel lings LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 5

10:25am Fri 18 Apr 14

RuralWiltshireMike says...

Whatever happened to 'localism'? An unelected and unaccountable bureaucrat decides we are not allowed to prevent noiusy and inefficient wind turbines from ruining the countryside.
Those that want these monstrocities should build one in their own gardens and see what it's like, not just a little tiny domestic one but a full blown monster. I stayed on a farm near one and never got a wink of sleep because of the noise and flicker, the countryside sounds did not disturb me but the thrumming of the blades and the early morning sunlight flickering caused by the blades. We left early because of it. Now put that into context in a town with one withing the urban area. Would you want that on your doorstep and never get a night's sleep?
Whatever happened to 'localism'? An unelected and unaccountable bureaucrat decides we are not allowed to prevent noiusy and inefficient wind turbines from ruining the countryside. Those that want these monstrocities should build one in their own gardens and see what it's like, not just a little tiny domestic one but a full blown monster. I stayed on a farm near one and never got a wink of sleep because of the noise and flicker, the countryside sounds did not disturb me but the thrumming of the blades and the early morning sunlight flickering caused by the blades. We left early because of it. Now put that into context in a town with one withing the urban area. Would you want that on your doorstep and never get a night's sleep? RuralWiltshireMike
  • Score: -1

10:43am Fri 18 Apr 14

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

RuralWiltshireMike wrote:
Whatever happened to 'localism'? An unelected and unaccountable bureaucrat decides we are not allowed to prevent noiusy and inefficient wind turbines from ruining the countryside.
Those that want these monstrocities should build one in their own gardens and see what it's like, not just a little tiny domestic one but a full blown monster. I stayed on a farm near one and never got a wink of sleep because of the noise and flicker, the countryside sounds did not disturb me but the thrumming of the blades and the early morning sunlight flickering caused by the blades. We left early because of it. Now put that into context in a town with one withing the urban area. Would you want that on your doorstep and never get a night's sleep?
If you read the article you would realise that it is promoting localism and making each case merit based. Wiltshire council by putting in place unrealistic minimum distance became the "unaccountable bureaucrat" that you are complaining about.

No one is actually stating turbines should be built next to houses, only that the minimum distance set by WCC was unacceptable and prohibitive.

I have friends who live close to a wind farm and even though the turbines are on top of a hill they are not bothered by them. Having visited I can see why, the noise was barely audible and they say the flicker is not a problem.

All that has changed is that each case will now be based on its own merit and not instantly rejected.
[quote][p][bold]RuralWiltshireMike[/bold] wrote: Whatever happened to 'localism'? An unelected and unaccountable bureaucrat decides we are not allowed to prevent noiusy and inefficient wind turbines from ruining the countryside. Those that want these monstrocities should build one in their own gardens and see what it's like, not just a little tiny domestic one but a full blown monster. I stayed on a farm near one and never got a wink of sleep because of the noise and flicker, the countryside sounds did not disturb me but the thrumming of the blades and the early morning sunlight flickering caused by the blades. We left early because of it. Now put that into context in a town with one withing the urban area. Would you want that on your doorstep and never get a night's sleep?[/p][/quote]If you read the article you would realise that it is promoting localism and making each case merit based. Wiltshire council by putting in place unrealistic minimum distance became the "unaccountable bureaucrat" that you are complaining about. No one is actually stating turbines should be built next to houses, only that the minimum distance set by WCC was unacceptable and prohibitive. I have friends who live close to a wind farm and even though the turbines are on top of a hill they are not bothered by them. Having visited I can see why, the noise was barely audible and they say the flicker is not a problem. All that has changed is that each case will now be based on its own merit and not instantly rejected. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 7

10:59am Fri 18 Apr 14

RuralWiltshireMike says...

The article does not allow for the fact that turbines could be built right next door to a farmhouse, if the planners so decide! That is unacceptable and the wishes of local people likely to be affected by the application should be considered over and above the views of people not living in the threatened area. The original WC policy was aimed at preventing that intrusion. In my view it is not a victory but a disaster waiting to happen.
I have visited many parts of the world and the siting of UK wind turbines is generally considerably closer to people's homes than in other places, such as France, Holland, USA, Denmark, etc, We are a smaller land mass in general so we have to be more careful, not less.
My experience is not of just one location but many around the UK. In Ayrshire there are huge swathes of hill tops covered in ugly turbines, most hardly doing anything most of the time despite the location and when they are turning you can hear the sounds they produce a good 2 miles away. One factor being the level of natural background noise. In a rural area that is generally much lower than in an urban situation, so rural areas are worse affected by the sounds than is the case in a more urban noise environment.
Plus these things do not produce as much electricity as is often claimed, the best in the UK has only achieved 33% of its total capacity at very considerable expense that could have been better used to build more constant forms of generation rather than the intermitent wind or solar sources.
The article does not allow for the fact that turbines could be built right next door to a farmhouse, if the planners so decide! That is unacceptable and the wishes of local people likely to be affected by the application should be considered over and above the views of people not living in the threatened area. The original WC policy was aimed at preventing that intrusion. In my view it is not a victory but a disaster waiting to happen. I have visited many parts of the world and the siting of UK wind turbines is generally considerably closer to people's homes than in other places, such as France, Holland, USA, Denmark, etc, We are a smaller land mass in general so we have to be more careful, not less. My experience is not of just one location but many around the UK. In Ayrshire there are huge swathes of hill tops covered in ugly turbines, most hardly doing anything most of the time despite the location and when they are turning you can hear the sounds they produce a good 2 miles away. One factor being the level of natural background noise. In a rural area that is generally much lower than in an urban situation, so rural areas are worse affected by the sounds than is the case in a more urban noise environment. Plus these things do not produce as much electricity as is often claimed, the best in the UK has only achieved 33% of its total capacity at very considerable expense that could have been better used to build more constant forms of generation rather than the intermitent wind or solar sources. RuralWiltshireMike
  • Score: 3

2:33pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Collier 99 says...

The Core Strategy proposal was, "to identify appropriate separation distances between wind turbines and residential premises in the interests of residential amenity, including safety. In the interim period, prior to adoption of the guidance, the following minimum separation distances* will be applied."
This then stated,
"If the height of the wind turbine is:-
(a) greater than 25m, but does not exceed 50m, the minimum distance requirement is 1000m;
(b) greater than 50m, but does not exceed 100m, the minimum distance requirement is 1500m;
(c) greater than 100m, but does not exceed 150m, the minimum distance requirement is 2000m;
(d) greater than 150m, the minimum distance requirement is 3000m.
It went on to say:-
"Shorter distances may be appropriate where there is clear support from the local community."
Ireland is fed up with wind turbine (Mass march proposal being organised).
Other countries have adopted similar distance restraints.
Industry (the largest consumer) is not even told to put solar panels on low angled roofing within industrial estates.
Never mind people - the general public will pay the higher prices from low productive units springing up everywhere! They are usually ones to suffer the cost (Pensioners, Disadvantaged rural communities etc).
The Core Strategy proposal was, "to identify appropriate separation distances between wind turbines and residential premises in the interests of residential amenity, including safety. In the interim period, prior to adoption of the guidance, the following minimum separation distances* will be applied." [Quotes from original proposal] This then stated, "If the height of the wind turbine is:- (a) greater than 25m, but does not exceed 50m, the minimum distance requirement is 1000m; (b) greater than 50m, but does not exceed 100m, the minimum distance requirement is 1500m; (c) greater than 100m, but does not exceed 150m, the minimum distance requirement is 2000m; (d) greater than 150m, the minimum distance requirement is 3000m. It went on to say:- "Shorter distances may be appropriate where there is clear support from the local community." Ireland is fed up with wind turbine (Mass march proposal being organised). Other countries have adopted similar distance restraints. Industry (the largest consumer) is not even told to put solar panels on low angled roofing within industrial estates. Never mind people - the general public will pay the higher prices from low productive units springing up everywhere! They are usually ones to suffer the cost (Pensioners, Disadvantaged rural communities etc). Collier 99
  • Score: 5

2:55pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Collier 99 says...

For all the turbines in U,K, for this year so far (Onshore and Offshore total), there has been 8.47% of the National Grid demand produced by Wind. It is estimated that 3 times (or more) turbines will be required to fulfil the silly agreement signed by a silly Government and still supported by silly party members.
Warminster area has had average wind speeds (Km per Hour)
3 yrs April to April of 6.72 Kph.
2014 year to date of 10.27 Kph (do you really want Jan. Feb. Mar winds??)
April 2014 - so far of 5.33 Kph

Quite right about RuraWitshireMike's comment. Money for old rope
Your money!!!
For all the turbines in U,K, for this year so far (Onshore and Offshore total), there has been 8.47% of the National Grid demand produced by Wind. It is estimated that 3 times (or more) turbines will be required to fulfil the silly agreement signed by a silly Government and still supported by silly party members. Warminster area has had average wind speeds (Km per Hour) 3 yrs April to April of 6.72 Kph. 2014 year to date of 10.27 Kph (do you really want Jan. Feb. Mar winds??) April 2014 - so far of 5.33 Kph Quite right about RuraWitshireMike's comment. Money for old rope Your money!!! Collier 99
  • Score: 2

4:27pm Fri 18 Apr 14

jonners123 says...

Anyone who thinks siting wind turbines anywhere is pretty naive in light of past results, but putting them in Wiltshire has got to be one of the stupidist ideas going. It is ludicrous to put wind turbines in Wiltshire - just imagine you were given some to make you money - where would you put them?
This stinks of backhanders.
PS - Ruralwiltshiremike - you are absolutely right about Ayrshire. This is a perfect example why plans for wind turbines in their present form need to be scrapped - absolutely useless.
Anyone who thinks siting wind turbines anywhere is pretty naive in light of past results, but putting them in Wiltshire has got to be one of the stupidist ideas going. It is ludicrous to put wind turbines in Wiltshire - just imagine you were given some to make you money - where would you put them? This stinks of backhanders. PS - Ruralwiltshiremike - you are absolutely right about Ayrshire. This is a perfect example why plans for wind turbines in their present form need to be scrapped - absolutely useless. jonners123
  • Score: 3

5:27pm Fri 18 Apr 14

s288 says...

An overriding consideration for building wind turbines no matter where appears to be mitigation of so-called climate change. And yet, despite more than 20 years of massive financial support - public subsidies in truth - for wind, we've yet to see any evidence of meaningful reductions in the causes/pollutants wind proponents claim as justification for further development; more huge subsidy and more bystanders seriously impacted by potentially health damaging noise such as, for example, Excess Amplitude Modulation or EAM as it's perhaps more commonly known..

Looking at the wider picture then, could it be that continuing along this seemingly unsuccessful route is providing nothing more than an extremely expensive band-aid for a bruised arm?
An overriding consideration for building wind turbines no matter where appears to be mitigation of so-called climate change. And yet, despite more than 20 years of massive financial support - public subsidies in truth - for wind, we've yet to see any evidence of meaningful reductions in the causes/pollutants wind proponents claim as justification for further development; more huge subsidy and more bystanders seriously impacted by potentially health damaging noise such as, for example, Excess Amplitude Modulation or EAM as it's perhaps more commonly known.. Looking at the wider picture then, could it be that continuing along this seemingly unsuccessful route is providing nothing more than an extremely expensive band-aid for a bruised arm? s288
  • Score: 5

6:03pm Fri 18 Apr 14

melkshamwizard says...

setting aside the fact of whether wind turbines are good or bad ,what's the good of electing councillors, if there decisions are over ruled by a none elected bureaucrat what's happened to democracy.
setting aside the fact of whether wind turbines are good or bad ,what's the good of electing councillors, if there decisions are over ruled by a none elected bureaucrat what's happened to democracy. melkshamwizard
  • Score: 7

8:34pm Fri 18 Apr 14

corin22 says...

every bit of energy produced by turbines has to be subsidized-by your energy bills, inefficient ,they have to have power stations running in case the wind drops, the only winners are the landowners who receive tens of thousands of pounds for having them on their land, nice earner if you can get it!!
every bit of energy produced by turbines has to be subsidized-by your energy bills, inefficient ,they have to have power stations running in case the wind drops, the only winners are the landowners who receive tens of thousands of pounds for having them on their land, nice earner if you can get it!! corin22
  • Score: 0

9:18pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Oik1 says...

Nice to see one or two others have the same fellings as myself on wind turbines, an eyesore and best part useless at what they are supposed to be doing, without the subsides they would never be put anywhere, they are a feel good unafordable luxury that we are all forced to fund.
Nice to see one or two others have the same fellings as myself on wind turbines, an eyesore and best part useless at what they are supposed to be doing, without the subsides they would never be put anywhere, they are a feel good unafordable luxury that we are all forced to fund. Oik1
  • Score: -1

7:52am Sat 19 Apr 14

Collier 99 says...

I noted that Thoulstone (?) was identified as an area for a wind turbine project. It also seemed as this may be the start of a larger project for the future. Such schemes are already apparent from the Shepton Mallet area along A361. The quarry sections are very interested in developing standalone energy for support of their own sites. BUT (isn't there always?) one aim in the bulletin or programme from outline proposals is a desire for more local turbines to link directly to the "Grid" and service other of their sites throughout the country.
Westbury and Warminster - watch out for your local meetings and start shouting at your local Councils. (Oh! yes, what happened to Localism - it seems to be in a Pickle).
I noted that Thoulstone (?) was identified as an area for a wind turbine project. It also seemed as this may be the start of a larger project for the future. Such schemes are already apparent from the Shepton Mallet area along A361. The quarry sections are very interested in developing standalone energy for support of their own sites. BUT (isn't there always?) one aim in the bulletin or programme from outline proposals is a desire for more local turbines to link directly to the "Grid" and service other of their sites throughout the country. Westbury and Warminster - watch out for your local meetings and start shouting at your local Councils. (Oh! yes, what happened to Localism - it seems to be in a Pickle). Collier 99
  • Score: 0

4:40pm Wed 23 Apr 14

moonrakin wurzel says...

Suspect science subsidy sticks send socialised spending soaring since sincere stupid Sophie spouts seriously suspect "sustainable" script....
Suspect science subsidy sticks send socialised spending soaring since sincere stupid Sophie spouts seriously suspect "sustainable" script.... moonrakin wurzel
  • Score: -3

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