WALPOLE CROSS KEYS: Wind of change over turbines
Calls have been made for greater controls over domestic wind turbines following a rise in the number of planning applications.
Walpole Cross Keys has about 16 turbines and the parish council is receiving complaints about the accumulative effect on the landscape.
West Norfolk Council’s cabinet has approved plans to give officers delegated powers to deal with mini turbines.
Previously all applications had to be considered by the planning committee but it is hoped this move will improve efficiency.
The council received 102 submissions in 2011 and 2012.
At Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, Springfellows member Peter Couzens called for greater control on the number of turbines installed in villages.
He said: “If you go through Walpole Cross Keys, there seem to be wind turbines cropping up everywhere.
“But what is the overall effect on the village and the people living there? It’s like living on a field of black and silver daffodils.
“It becomes obtrusive to people living there.”
Under the new rules, applications will only go to the committee if the turbine is over 17 metres high and if there are three existing ones already on the site.
Ward members and the executive director also have the ability to call in the applications.
The cabinet heard that 10 per cent of the applications dealt with by the committee last year were for mini wind turbines.
Portfolio holder Vivienne Spikings said there is not a lot of debate on these applications at planning committees due to the government stance on renewable energy.
Walpole Cross Keys Parish Council chairman John Fox said the vast majority of turbines are to the south of the village.
He said it was not unreasonable to grant officers delegated powers providing there was an appeal process.
Mr Fox said: “We are beginning to get a number of complaints from individuals. Some are visible from a mile away.
“It is beginning to look like a forest.”
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Weather for King's Lynn
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: North