What is this site about?
The background is that there is a proposal to site two 125 metre (410ft) high wind turbines, as pictured here in our mock-up, on land between the villages of Desford, Peckleton, Kirkby Mallory and Newbold Verdon. See site map.
While this is not a preferred site in the wind farm plans of Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council, the Council is bound to consider any application for planning permission and is under considerable pressure from national government to approve applications when approached, in order to meet government targets for renewable energy sources.
The fact that the proposal is a result of a non-resident landowner approaching or being approached by a private wind turbine company does not affect the case, which Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council will decide on the criteria laid down for them – and it's worth saying now that loss of a lovely view and any fall in value of nearby property are not criteria on which they can refuse planning permission; nor is whether land-based wind farms are even the right policy.
At present a 60 metre meteorological mast has been erected on the site to gauge wind speeds and therefore suitability of the site from the turbine operator's viewpoint. While data should be collected for 24 months, a residents' action group has been formed NOW to fight the proposals, as the turbine company can apply for planning permission prior to the end of the meteorological trial (they often apply within 6 months of erecting the mast).
Once the planning application is submitted, there will be only 21 days for objections to be lodged. To have any effect, these objections must be relevant to the criteria the planning department will use in arriving at a decision. The action group is therefore currently gathering information from similar groups opposing wind farms in their rural locations in order to understand what constitutes relevant ground for objection and to learn from their experiences.
One thing that is already apparent is that if a council refuses planning permission, that is far from being the end of the story. So long as the turbine company has decided that it does wish to place turbines on the proposed land, it will appeal against the refusal and the matter will go to Public Enquiry. The turbine company will be represented by expensive barristers and experts. The only hope local people have to continue the fight at this stage is to employ their own barrister and experts.
The fight starts here. It will cost time and money. Join us by registering your interest to receive information updates, offer what help you can and help to raise the funds we will need to see off this proposal that has landed on our villages unasked.