Sunday, March 18, 2012

Change of access to proposed Spaldington wind farm denied

This week the East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Planning Committee, voted against the officers recommendation, supported the local opposition and refused planning consent for an alternative access route for the construction of the proposed Falck Renewables 5 turbine Spaldington Airfield wind farm.

Both Spaldington resident Alison Taylor and I spoke at the meeting to support the community’s objection, and needless to say the Committee members shared our concerns, saw the application for what it was and threw it out, stating the unacceptable impact of the amenity of the area as the reason.

The frustration with this application was that the company already has an adequate access approved by the planning inspector at appeal – and I could see no reason whatsoever why this agreed access couldn’t be used, and now after the refusal by the Committee the company will have to use this route. Ok, it may inconvenience the landowner a little – but he’s going to make a pretty packet out of this wind farm so this is a small price to pay.

The audacity of the applicant to try and pass on the problems of ‘potential traffic HGV movements conflicting with other businesses located on the Airfield site’ to Mr & Mrs Taylor’s business, located just 150m from the proposed new access road was jaw dropping. Not to mention the extra 200 HGVs of aggregate required to construct this proposed access. I thought it rather telling that Mr & Mrs Taylor had not been consulted by Falck Renewables on this proposal, even though the change of access was to be so close to their home and business.

I can’t envisage for a minute the applicant appealing the Planning Committee decision – One can only imagine the conversation with the Planning Inspector – “Erm, errr sorry but we supplied you with duff information at the appeal, we’d not thought it through, and we’ve now changed our minds”. I’m sure they would get short shrift from the Inspector.

I described it as a ‘dog’s dinner’ of an application and this is exactly what it was. Falck Renewables have put the village of Spaldington through the mill with the original wind farm application – and still they continue. In the opinion of many, this application was to minimise the disruption to the landowner on whose land the wind turbines are to be built – nothing more and nothing less.

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