REVOLT opposing unnecessary, excessive and intrusive powerline development

opposing unnecessary, excessive and intrusive powerline development

REVOLT Newsletter 232

Revolt news 7/08/2007

1. EARLY CONSULTATION DEADLINE: 17 August. New planning proposals threaten to make it yet more difficult for citizens to object to major infrastructure projects. A short deadline in the summer holiday is such a common ploy these days that it hardly gets noticed. The PM announced 11 July that a Planning Reform Bill will be based on the proposals in the Planning White Paper published 21 May unless there are changes arising from consultation. For details see http://tinyurl.com/2nzn9n 

2. Linked to the changing planning regime, local authorities are under financial pressure to avoid objecting. An article in the Journal (APPENDIX A) begins "Legal bills that run into hundreds of thousands of pounds could put pressure on councils to back unwanted wind turbine developments, protesters fear".

3. CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) has summarised the above planning proposals and advised on responding. They are concerned that greater weight will be given to business interests through a new Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) and that National Policy Statements will over-ride local objections which would only be allowed to submit evidence of incompatibility with the law. See http://www.cpre.org.uk  http://www.planningdisaster.co.uk 

4. Snips from news@all-energy 94 are at APPENDIX B.

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APPENDIX A The price of protest, The Journal, 30 July 2007

Legal bills that run into hundreds of thousands of pounds could put pressure on councils to back unwanted wind turbine developments, protesters fear.

Tynedale Council have set aside 200,000 to pay for an inquiry that is to be held into three wind farm planning applications in the district.

The council is facing the inquiry because it objected to the proposals, but objectors in other areas fear their councils may feel pressured into passing proposals because of the cost of going to an inquiry.

Peter Bennet is a member of the Friends of the Wanneys protest group, set up to oppose the turbines in the north Tynedale area.

He said: "It certainly seems like an awful lot of money and of course it is all public money. I am appalled that the planning authorities have to be drawn into this enormous expense against companies that can afford it much more easily."

The estimated bill for Tynedale Council is the maximum the inquiry, likely to be held early next year, would cost and includes 150,000 in legal fees and 50,000 in landscape consultant fees.

Tynedale is the first council to officially estimate the cost of the inquiries, but Berwick Borough Council, Alnwick District Council and Castle Morpeth Borough Council could all face similarly hefty bills at future inquiries if they object to the proposals.

The Tynedale applications were submitted by separate developers for wind farms at sites in Green Rigg Fell at Birtley, Steadings at Kirkwhelpington and Ray Fell near Kirkwhelpington.

Tynedale Council leader Michael Walton said: "If the council planning committee makes a decision for good and proper reasons then the council is honour bound to try to back them up. These figures are the maximum that it will cost because we don't know if the inquiry will last for four weeks or 10 weeks. At least the three applications will be considered together and everybody will have their chance to put their point across."

Earlier this year the council resolved to refuse planning permission for the Green Rigg application and to object to the Steadings and Ray Fell applications.

No definite date has been given for the start of the inquiry or how long it will last, but the council's legal service department estimates that the final hearings are likely to take place next Spring.

The council is currently negotiating with potential legal representatives to agree terms of appointment and fee levels.

Mr Bennet added: "It seems the system is unfair and slated against the protesters. I am pretty sure that the development companies will be able to afford more than that. It is not a level playing field and is a tremendous drain on public resources and rules out the ordinary individual."

A wind farm application at North Charlton, near Alnwick, will also go to a public inquiry later this year.

Frank Dakin, who turned down 6m from a developer who wanted to put turbines on his farm in Duddo, north Northumberland, said: "It isn't fair that the councils have to use tax payers' money to pay for it. It seems ridiculous. It is a big problem because some councils simply haven't got the money. It is a horrendous situation."

by Ben Guy

http://tinyurl.com/2sft9l 

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APPENDIX B Snips from news@all-energy 94.

3.GRID,NETWORKS, TRANSMISSION, UTILITY COMPANIES 3.1.Ofgem in green charges price row

Power watchdog Ofgem was accused of posing a major threat to millions of pounds worth of green energy projects across the north of Scotland. Scottish Renewables, the body that represents the wind and wave power industry, said several developments could be dropped because of proposals to increase transmission charges for remote generators http://tinyurl.com/yoeyzc  

Jim Mather, the Scottish Executive energy minister, wrote to Ofgem over plans to for a "punitive" charging system that will hit remote electricity generators http://tinyurl.com/2z8duv 

3.2.E.ON plans 3bn Euro RE investment E.ON aims to expand its renewable energy activities significantly in the coming years and will be establishing a business specifically for this purpose. From October E.ON's future renewables and climate protection business will be headed by Frank Mastiaux (43), an experienced energy manager with an international track record. E.ON will be investing 3bn Euro by 2010, mainly in offshore wind power http://www.eon.com/en/presse/ 

3.3.E.ON search on for energy storage Energy experts from around the world can turn to E.ON to apply for funding for their energy research projects. The company has earmarked 60m Euro over the coming ten years for an international research initiative. This year's budget of 6m Euro is being tendered in a competition dedicated to "energy storage" http://tinyurl.com/ytgr3q 

3.4.2007 Digest of UK Energy Stats published Electricity generated from renewable sources in the UK in 2006 represented 4.6 per cent of total UK electricity generation, up from 4.2 per cent in 2005. http://www.gnn.gov.uk/environment/ 

3.5.Ending gridlock on the grid "Delay in linking new wind farms and other forms of clean electricity to the national grid is one of the main obstacles to achieving the UK's renewable energy aims", Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said as he launched a joint BERR/Ofgem review of the issue. http://www.gnn.gov.uk/Content/ 

3.6.Offshore electricity transmission Ofgem and BERR have published a document that sets out further thoughts for the design of a competitive offshore transmission regime. It is part of an on-going consultative process in the development of an offshore electricity transmission regime http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/ 

5.WIND - INTERNATIONAL NEWS

A major offshore windfarm is at an advanced stage of planning for the North Irish Sea. It will have capacity to generate 330MW of electricity and would be Ireland's largest renewable electricity generator http://tinyurl.com/yq2ovz 

11.NUCLEAR

11.1.UK: the future of nuclear power The UK Government's consultation on the future of nuclear power seeks views on the information and arguments set out on whether the private sector should be allowed to build new nuclear power stations http://nuclearpower2007.direct.gov.uk/ 

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-- Mike O'Carroll

 

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