Turbine too close to war memorial, council rules

A NEW wind turbine planned for Witchford was turned down by the council’s planning committee this week because it would have been located too close to a war memorial.

At a meeting of the planning committee held on Wednesday (June 8), councillors agreed that the visual impact of the turbine together with the potential noise and it’s proximity to a nearby war memorial meant it had to be refused.

Local design and manufacturing firm Michell Instruments submitted plans for the 24-metre high turbine earlier this year, with a view to building it within its site on Lancaster Way business park.

Planning officers at East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) were unhappy with the potential visual impact on Witchford and the surrounding area however, and recommended the application for refusal.

“Clearly, every support should be given to measures that reduce carbon emissions but this does not absolve those proposing schemes from doing so in a responsible and cohesive manner, said planning officers.

“If the scheme is insignificant or neutral then permission should be granted, however, if there is an element of doubt or lack of clarity of the implications of this turbine, or additional ones, then it would be reasonable to refuse the application.”

The plans were originally sent to the planning committee by Ely councillor Jeremy Friend-Smith, who said to officers that there were issues regarding noise, vibration and the impact on wildlife that needed to be considered.

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Witchford Parish Council also expressed its concern at the possible visual impact on neighbours of the site.

In its planning submission, applicant Michell Instruments said siting of the turbine and noise mitigation had been carefully considered and a number of surveys conducted to ensure the impact on neighbours had been minimised.