January 31 2015 Latest news:
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
A south Norfolk MP has welcomed a decision that communities secretary Eric Pickles should have the final say on plans to build three wind turbines near a village.
Richard Bacon was pleased to receive a letter from planning minister Kris Hopkins confirming that the final decision on TCI Renewables’ plans for the three turbines at Upper Vaunces Farm, near Rushall, would be taken by Mr Pickles and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
The energy firm is appealing to the Planning Inspectorate on the grounds South Norfolk Council had taken too long to make a decision on its application.
The proposals have attracted local opposition from campaign groups, including the Tivetshall Action Group and 4Villages action group which claimed the 126m high structures would have an impact on local residents and affect the landscape and listed buildings.
Mr Bacon said: “I am very pleased that Mr Hopkins has recovered this appeal so that Eric Pickles can take the final decision.
“It is bad for democracy if planning decisions taken locally are overridden by national policies at appeal.
“The whole purpose of localism is to give local communities greater control over local decisions like housing and planning. Eric Pickles can look at these issues in the round and come to a balanced conclusion that gives proper weight to local views”.
The Oxfordshire-based renewable energy firm states the turbines could generate between 6MW and 9MW of power during a 25 year working life.
The developer has also claimed the energy produced would be enough to power 3,300 homes and prevent 7,300 tonnes of carbon dioxide escaping into the atmosphere.
The plans, which were thrown out by the council in 2010 and then re-submitted with the turbines closer together, attracted almost 40 letters of support, but also received more than 400 letters of objection, as well as opposition from Lord MacGregor of Pulham Market, the Norfolk Gliding Club at Tibenham, two churches and six nearby parish councils.
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