Wind turbine plan is temporarily grounded

First published in News

AN application to build a 113ft —high wind turbine in Affetside, which provoked a public outcry, has been withdrawn.

But the man behind the proposal, Mr James Jennings, says the move is only temporary and that the application will be resubmitted to Bury Council planners at a later stage.

He denies that the move has been triggered by opposition generated by the application to construct the turbine on green belt at Top Height Farm in Watling Street where he lives.

Bury Council had received 191 representations over the issue, including three in favour as well as 181 objections and seven petitions. Bury North MP David Nuttall had also raised the issue in Parliament.

Earlier, Mr Jennings had defended the application by telling the Bury Times he wanted the turbine to power a working farm he planned to establish, with the surplus going to the National Grid.

But on Tuesday, he disclosed: “I have now withdrawn the application temporarily to make some amendments.” Asked if these could involve altering the location and dimension of the turbine, Mr Jennings said: “There will be no changes to the site and height.”

Saying that he wanted to obtain further information before the application was resubmitted, he added: “We don’t want to delay it too long.”

He denied that the move to withdraw the application had been influenced by local opposition to the wind turbine.

Recently, in the House of Commons, MP David Nuttall asked the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, what steps he was taking “to stop inappropriate development on the green belt.” Mr Pickles replied: “The Government attach great importance to the green belt, which prevents urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open.”

Mr Nuttall continued: “Villagers in Affetside in my constituency are worried that their concerns about a proposal to erect a 113ft-high wind turbine in their village may not be listened to.

“Can he give them, and others in a similar position who are facing the imposition of these giant wind turbines within the green belt, any further reassurance?”

Mr Pickles replied that, of course, the MP’s constituents “will be listened to” and added: “We look to local planning authorities to determine where a wind farm or a single turbine might go and, in particular, where they might not.

“If they do that, I think that my honorary friend’s constituents will feel much more relaxed about the issue. ”

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