The Planning Inspectorate has this week been slammed by a county councillor for taking too long to make a decision on a Colne turbine appeal.
County. Coun Paul White said “that part of Colne was being held to ransom” while an outcome was reached over proposals for three 50kw turbines, with overall heights of 34.2m, at Jerusalem Farm in Skipton Old Road.
The application was thrown out by Colne councillors in November 2012, and the appeal, made by DC21’s Matthew Tidmarsh, began oin April. It was dismissed on Monday.
According to Coun. White new planning appeals have been received in relation to wind turbines since the Jerusalem Farm appeal, meaning that the council could not formulate a response without knowing the results of previous judgements.
He said: “With these wind turbines, the Planning Inspectorate need to get their act together. 12 months is too long, particularly in an area where we are seeing application after application.”
Responding a spokesman for the Planning Inspectorate said: “We fully appreciate the need to make decisions on planning appeals quickly.
“On average, 89% of appeals are decided within 26 weeks but appeals which are complicated can take longer. It is important that adequate time is given to consider the evidence placed before the Inspector, who is required to give sound reasons for his judgement in each decision.”
The main issue Inspector Alison Partington considered in her report following a site visit in November was “whether the proposed turbines would have a harmful effect on the character of the landscape and an adverse visual impact”.
Responding, site finder for DC21 Jon Roche said: “The reasons cited have given us a clear and fair understanding of why the project appeal has been dismissed and will help us greatly with future applications.”
“This decision should also be taken by the community that wind turbines cannot just pop up anywhere and pepper the landscape as has been claimed by some people.
“There are many positives in the appeal documents with only a few mainly visual and cumulative impact reasons going against us.”