WIND TURBINES: Exclusion zone promised around airfield and no repeat of ice incident

PUBLISHED: 19:34 21 July 2009 | UPDATED: 09:10 02 June 2010

By John Elworthy A TWO mile exclusion order banning wind turbines is to be put around Chatteris Airfield. And Fenland District Council has also promised there will be no repeat of the Whittlesey incident when cascading ice from a turbine hit cars and la

By John Elworthy

A TWO mile exclusion order banning wind turbines is to be put around Chatteris Airfield.

And Fenland District Council has also promised there will be no repeat of the Whittlesey incident when cascading ice from a turbine hit cars and landed in people's gardens.

Future wind turbine operators will also have to work within a framework expected to win approval next week from the council's Cabinet.

But the report, released tonight, refuses to rule out more turbines in Fenland despite 35 already having been erected and approval given to a further nine.

Chris Hodson, Fenland's strategic planning manager and author of the 112 page report, reminds councillors of Government policy which says that "the fact that a target has been reached cannot be used in itself for refusing planning permission".

Mr Hodson believes Fenland has more than met its share of onshore renewable energy targets and there was a need to consider the impacts of new developments or the extension of existing sites.

Wind turbines are the single largest development in terms of vertical scale within the Fenland landscape "and the rate of change within the district over the last seven years has been considerable.

"There is a need to ensure that future development is in balance with both the local landscape and the population that lives within it."

His report deals with the 100 comments made by 50 consultees when a draft wind turbine policy document was released last year,

He said some concerns were raised about the proximity of turbines to Chatteris Airfield and as a result a 'safeguarding zone' has now been indicated around the airfield and the associated parachute drop.

Mr Hodson said the council's consultants had also looked at the ice hazard in Whittlesey.

"Studies indicate that turbines should be located one and a half times the combined height of the turbine tower and the diameter of the turbine blades in order to prevent injury or damage to property as a result of ice being thrown from a turbine," he said.

The report also looks at domestic and small-scale wind turbines on business premises and examines criteria which help determine such applications.

(If you want a full copy of the council's report please email: john.elworthy@archant.co.uk)


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