A new document which clarifies the information developers need to provide when applying to build a wind turbine will help to make residents feel more “secure”, according to a Bury campaigner.
A wind turbine validation checklist has been created by Bury Council’s planning department, which outlines what developers must consider.
It is the result of work by the Affetside Society, Bury Rural Inequalities Forum (BRIF) and the council, after residents raised concerns about wind turbines, particularly in Affetside.
The checklist outlines areas such as noise reports, ecological assessments and how the turbines would affect the landscape visually.
Joanne Wilcock, chair-man of the Affetside Society, said the group decided to act after plans for wind turbines in Affetside had been withdrawn, with important information not being provided.
She said: “We were delighted and quite impressed when the council said they would do it. If you want to apply for a wind turbine, you must make sure all the information is provided, and until it has been provided the application will not go live.”
Plans for a controversial 113-ft high turbine on land off Watling Street were thrown out by council chiefs last year. Planners said one reason was because not enough information about noise generation had been provided by the applicant.
Dr Falmai Binns, chairman of the BRIF, said it was a welcome development, particularly for the people of Affetside.
Due to the village’s location, decisions on wind turbines nearby can be made by Bolton Council or Blackburn with Darwen Council, and Dr Binns hopes those councils will sign up to the checklist.
She said: “Residents will feel more secure and will be able to oversee plans in a more consistent way, and everyone will be singing from the same hymn sheet.”
Cllr Iain Gartside, who represents Affetside, added: “I think it is a positive step forward. There have been a lot of applications for wind turbines that have caused a great deal of anxiety.
“This goes some way to make it clear what types of applications are completely unacceptable, so people can see whether an application has got any chance of getting through planning.”
The validation checklist can be viewed here.