Hold your horses, Olveston wind farm campaigners warn council
CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans to erect a pair of turbines near Olveston have warned that approving the wind farm before the local authority finalises its new tougher guidelines on energy-efficient developments would be nonsensical.
No date has yet been set for South Gloucestershire Council to determine whether to back the controversial scheme, put forward REG Windpower, to build a large wind farm in Ingst.
Activists who formed the Olveston Wind Farm Action Group when the plans were first proposed, have however argued that any decision regarding the project should be delayed until the local authority has rubber-stamped its new wind farm planning guidelines.
The local authority is due to publish stricter guidance in its Renewable Energy Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to ensure that wind farms, solar panels, heat pumps and other energy-saving technologies which could come forward in the forseeable future are built in the right place and cause minimum disruption.
A Landscape Character Assessment report released in 2005 will also be updated to take account of any significant and recent changes in the landscape.
The SPD could have a drastic impact on the future of Ingst and the surrounding villages once implemented.
Chairman Claire Barnard said: “We’re still in the dark about when a decision is going to be made about the wind farm.
“However, we know that the South Gloucestershire Council has been working on a Supplementary Planning Document dealing with the implications of projects such as wind farms and laying down relevant planning guidelines, and we have offered a significant input to it.
“It would make no sense to us if a decision were to be made on the Olveston wind farm before the guidelines of that SPD come into force.”
OWAG has rejected the plans from the very start, arguing the turbines would be an eyesore in its picturesque surroundings.
Parish councils including Aust, Olveston and Pilning and Severn Beach have now backed the group's campaign to see the application thrown out.
She added: "“The people who would be affected by the turbines have made the strength of their opposition clear in a parish survey.
“OWAG represent the views of the local community and the local community have been very clear: we do not want this wind farm.”
South Gloucestershire Council was not available for comment.
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