Saturday, June 29, 2013

Parish Councils oppose micro wind turbines

THORNGUMBALD PARISH COUNCIL joined Preston and Hedon Town Council in opposing planning applications to erect micro wind turbines.
The micro wind turbines are being promoted by Norwich-based Windcrop who promise to fund, supply and maintain small wind turbines for farmers, smallholders, schools, businesses and landowners. They also act as agents for planning applicants.
“With a Windcrop small wind turbine we can provide you with a source of free electricity for 20 years, thanks to the Government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme. All you need to take advantage of our service is enough land and enough wind.” – Windcrop website
Feed-In Tariffs were introduced in 2010 and replaced UK government grants as the main financial incentive to encourage uptake of renewable electricity-generating technologies. The turbines stand just above 20.5 metres tall (to the tip of the blade) and offer customers savings from free electricity while Windcrop earn revenue from the Feed-in Tariff, which covers their costs.
It all sounds very good for customers and good for the ‘green agenda’, however local parish and town councils are concerned about the potential impacts of the micro turbines and are worried about setting a precedent for their proliferation.
In response to a planning application for a Windcroft turbine in Mattocks Lane, Hedon both the Hedon Town Council and Preston Parish Council recommended that it not be supported because of the overbearing nature of the development, the negative impacts and proximity to neighbours and the noise and disturbance that would be caused. A letter of objection by a resident referred to the development as being “a blot on the landscape”.
A planning application for a turbine on Neat Marsh Road, Preston was also given the ‘thumbs down’ by Preston Parish Council because of the visual impact that it would have on the area and its proximity to residential properties.
Thorngumbald Parish Council recommended refusal for a turbine on Hooks Lane, Thorngumbaldbecause it would be within sight and sound of neighbours.
The nine Roos Wind Farm turbines stand 126.5m tall to the tip of the blade and have now become a common sight on the landscape that can be seen for miles around. We wonder whether their smaller 20.5m cousins will become as common a sight in the next few years?
The first of the Windcrop turbines is to be dealt with by the East Riding Council’s planning process next month (July 2013).
So what do readers think? Are micro turbines a good idea?