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UK — Ill Wind Blows Over New Turbine Policy

This Is Wiltshire — October 19, 2012

WIND turbine campaigners have attacked Swindon Council for not setting down a policy for a minimum separation between turbines and homes.

The move follows an apparent change of direction by the authority in the last few weeks.In August, Coun Dale Heenan, cabinet member for strategic planning and sustainability, said he would not be surprised if a 1km separation distance was included in the final draft of the local plan.The plan is the overarching document guiding the town’s development until 2026.

However, members of the Ill Wind group, which campaigned successfully against theHonda wind turbines, were shocked to find the policy contains no minimum distance, but instead relies on the council’s judgment.

The policy says: “Proposals for wind turbines […] shall be permitted only where there is no unacceptably adverse impact due to noise, shadow flicker, amplitude modulation, reflected light or electronic disturbance on: the built and natural heritage, and/or the amenity of properties, and/or areas important for tourism or recreational use of the countryside.   Visual impact shall be minimised through siting, landscaping, design and use of materials.”

It continues: “Large scale wind-turbines (individual or collectively) are unlikely to be supported in close proximity to residential properties, but will be assessed on a site by site basis according to the height of the turbine and local factors such as land-form, orientation, vegetation and other buildings.”

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