COUNCIL chiefs set to decide plans for a giant wind turbine in Uttoxeter have been recommended to refuse it as the town’s MP vows to fight against it.
Staffordshire County Council’s planning committee is expected to make its decision tomorrow over whether it will grant permission for a 255ft (78m) wind turbine on Uttoxeter Quarry in Spath.
The meeting will be held at the County Buildings, in Stafford, at 10am with planning chairman Tim Corbett heading the meeting.
Uttoxeter MP Andrew Griffiths (pictured) said: “I am intending to speak at the hearing in opposition to the wind turbine.
“I think that the campaign has demonstrated the overwhelming feeling of the public of Uttoxeter that they do not want to see the wind turbine built and it will undeniably have a damaging impact on the environment and the ability to use the facilities going forward.
“I think the reality is Aggregates Industries are purely motivated by profit and power in this application and the offer of funding compensation to the local community is derisory compared to the millions of pounds they will receive in subsidiaries from building the turbine.
“It is little to do with the turbine and lots to do with the profit.”
During its consultation period, the environmental advice team raised concerns regarding the turbine including the scope and timing of bird vantage point, incomplete information regarding the landscape policy objectives, planning documents updated inadequately in line with previous comments.
The Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has submitted a holding objection, indicating that it is supportive of renewable energy but only where it does not cause significant impacts to the wildlife interest and includes mitigation to offset any predicted harm.
East Staffordshire Borough Council voted not to support the application and Uttoxeter Rural Parish Council recommended its refusal.
Rocester Parish Council said it is extremely concerned about the scale and size of the wind turbine and feels it is not in keeping with the landscape of the valley and will also have an adverse effect on tourism.
Objections were also received from the Open Spaces Society, Campaign to Protect Rural England, West Midland Bird Club, Uttoxeter Town Council and Doveridge Parish Council.
In total, 780 individually signed standard letters have been received from the Uttoxeter Wind Turbine Action Group and a petition called Say No to Uttoxeter Windfarms has been signed by 330 people.
However, two letters of support have been received indicating that sustainable developments are required and are preferable to coal or nuclear stations as they are less destructive to the scenery than the alternatives.
Concerns raised about the wind turbine include shadow flicker, wind speed, need, public safety, public health and highway safety.
Therefore the director of place and deputy chief executive’s recommendation is to refuse to grant planning permission.
The report states the reasons for the recommendation for the refusal as: “It is considered that the material planning objections outweigh the material planning benefits associated with the development, specifically in terms of the unacceptable effects on the landscape and visual amenity and the unacceptable timing of this ancillary development relative to the cessation of working of Uttoxeter Quarry and having regard to the approved restoration plan for the quarry which has the potential to give rise to unacceptable effects on bird life.
“Therefore it is considered that the proposals do not represent sustainable development.”