Wind power project rules must change
Green energy campaigners are celebrating after the Government inspector ordered Wiltshire Council to delete its wind farms policy from the Core Strategy.
The council had planned to impose a minimum distance between housing and new wind developments, essentially preventing any from being built in the county.
However, the inspector, Andrew Seaman, ordered this policy be struck out.
The Wiltshire Clean Air Alliance, which campaigns for renewable energy in the county, has opposed the plans since they were introduced in 2012.
Its coordinator, Sophy Fearnley-Whittingstall, said: “Planning policy should be open-minded and unbiased and wind farm applications should be judged on a case-by-case basis, in line with national policy, which already has robust guidance on appropriate locations for wind turbines.
“Since this policy was introduced almost two years ago, all forms of wind development in Wiltshire – both commercial and community – have been on hold, which is a shame. Now we will have a stronger policy, that will set an important precedent for other local authorities.”
She confirmed the first site to benefit from the change could be the Thoulstone Farm site near Chapman-slade, where turbine plans had previously been shelved.
She said: “I spoke to various people while the policy was in place who said they didn’t think they could put anything forward in planning until this was resolved.
“It does mean there could be more wind sites, which we would welcome as long as they are good developments on appropriate sites.”