French Farm wind turbines – decision delayed
A decision on whether to allow an additional four wind turbines to be built at French Farm has been put back to the end of July.
A decision was expected three weeks earlier, but the new Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark, has delayed the decision to allow time for more comments to be submitted.
The Conservative manifesto made a number of commitments regarding onshore wind-farms which promised to make it harder for them to get planning permission. In a statement made on Thursday (June 18), Mr Clark said:
“Local planning authorities should only grant permission if the site is in an area identified as suitable for wind energy development in a Local or Neighbourhood Plan; and following consultation, it can be demonstrated that the planning impacts identified by affected local communities have been fully addressed and therefore the proposal has their backing.”
The new guidance says that because French Farm has already been through the planning process, the local planning authority (in this case Peterborough City Council) can find the proposal acceptable if, following consultation, they are satisfied it has addressed the planning impacts identified by affected local communities and therefore has their backing.
The Secretary of State is now asking for comments relating to his statement and revised planning advice. He says he will take those comments into consideration in making his decision.
The deadline is July 3 and a decision on whether the additional four turbines can be built will be made by July 31.
Mr Clark’s statement can be read here.
The revised planning guidance on wind-farms can be read here.
There is already planning permission in place for two turbines at French Farm, French Drove (to the north of the village), but the developers – REG Windpower – applied for permission to build four more. The application was approved by Peterborough City Council, but “called in” by the Secretary of State following the intervention of Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson.
This meant that the city council’s decision was set aside and the application would be decided by a planning inspector, with the Secretary of State having the final decision.