Tag Archives: windfarms

Developers pull the plug on Gores Farm wind turbines

View The Causeway A47

Developers have pulled the plug on controversial plans to build wind turbines at Gores Farm to the west of the village.

Following government rejection of plans for addition turbines at French Farm to the north of Thorney, it seemed highly unlikely that a larger and more visible wind-farm would stand any chance of approval.

The developers, West Coast Energy, first submitted revised plans reducing the number of turbines to lessen the visible impact and, in particular, on the view of Thorney Abbey. It claimed no wind turbines would be able to be seen from The Green. However, West Coast Energy has clearly seen the writing on the wall and plans have been withdrawn. The wind-farm would have had the capacity to power up to 11,000 homes.

There are still plans on the table for five turbines at Willowhall.

News of the withdrawal will please Thorney Parish council which has urged planners to reject proposals for other wind farms near the village.

Following the rejection of the French Drove wind farm extension, the parish council issued this statement:

“Thorney Parish Council is very pleased that the immense efforts made by local opposition groups, parishioners, City Councillors and Stewart Jackson, have resulted in the Secretary of State refusing permission for the installation of 4x100metre high wind turbines at French Farm, French Drove.

“As they are opposed for many of the same reasons and with equal determination by the local community and their representatives, we trust that the wind farm applications at Gores Farm and the adjacent Willow Hall Farm sites will be similarly rejected, when the City Council determines the outcome of these two applications.”

 

MP says wind farm decision is victory for community

Stuart-Jackson

Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson (pictured) issued this statement following news that the government had rejected plans for additional wind turbines at French Drove.

“I’m really pleased at the decision by HM Planning Inspectorate which vindicated all our efforts.

“It shows that if the community works together with a strong argument and marshals their case well, then a poor and inappropriate application can be defeated by the existing planning system.

“That said, had the Secretary of State not responded to my request to use his powers to Call In the plans, it might have been a very different story.

“I’m not against wind turbines full stop – but they have to be placed in appropriate locations and these were not.

“I’d like to thank all those on the campaign team – especially Don and Julie Turner.”

Stewart Jackson played a critical role in helping block the French Drove wind farm. Plans for four more turbines had been approved by Peterborough City Council when Mr Jackson intervened and persuaded Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in the Conservative/Liberal government, to block the decision and send it to a planning inquiry.

By the time the inquiry had made its recommendations, a new government was in power and onshore wind turbines faced a tougher test to win approval.

Eric Pickles’ successor Greg Clark decided the French Drove plans did not meet that tougher test.

French Farm wind turbines – decision delayed

Site of the proposed wind turbines at French Farm

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.