Kelsale: Call for revisions to wind turbine policy
09:00 13 February 2013
A SUFFOLK homeowner is hoping the rejection of a second wind turbine application near his home may influence how future proposals are considered.
Suffolk Coastal has agreed to produce “supplementary planning guidance” on domestic wind turbines, after a planning committee threw out a bid to install another wind turbine 200 metres from Robin Potter’s Kelsale home.
Mr Potter, who had no objection to the first 15m turbine going up on his neighbour’s farmland, said he hoped the decision would change the way renewable energy development is considered in the future.
Despite recommendations by officers to approve the application, councillors decided a second turbine could affect residential amenity.
An initial application was made last year for two micro-generation turbines - but the positioning of one, within 50m of a hedge, raised an objection from Suffolk wildlife Trust, leading to the applicant revising its location.
Mr Potter complained that the 15m tower and 5.6m diameter blade would have an environmental impact and result in “significant additional visual intrusion”.
As part of Suffolk Coastal’s Local Plan, the council supports development of renewable energy schemes provided development would not cause significant harm to interests of acknowledged importance in the local environment.
Mr Potter argued it was time planners reviewed guidelines for so-called micro generation wind turbines. He said: “With more and more of these turbine applications coming through, I think the guidelines need looking at.
“I’m not objecting to renewable energy - I have a photovoltaic system myself. I just think more information should be required on the potential impact and more explanation of why a certain location has been chosen.
“The council could set better guidelines against which an application is to be discussed.
“This is a small victory that will I hope will make planners a bit more cognisant and will at least make applicants do more to justify where they plan to put a turbine.”
Suffolk Coastal said it had agreed that once the Core Strategy of its new planning strategy, the Local Development Framework, has been approved and put in place, some supplementary planning guidance would be produced on wind turbines.
However, a spokesman added: “It will remain the situation for the foreseeable future that 15m turbines will be described as micro-generation systems as that is how they are defined by government planning policies and will remain reflected in local planning policies until a decision has been made to alter those policies.”