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Jack's Lane Wind Farm
Agendas and Minutes, click on CLG Agendas and Minutes.
Guidance for the meetings, click on CLG Terms of Reference.
8th Nov 2012
The application submitted to the courts to expedite the legal challenge has been accepted and we have received a court hearing date of Tuesday 18th December 2012. The exact time and location has not yet been confirmed. We understand that this will be at most a one day hearing, where a judge will be presented with information from legal counsel on behalf of the claimants and information from legal counsel on behalf of RES and legal Counsel representing EON for Chiplow Wind Farm. The judge is unlikely to make a decision on the day. A few weeks after the hearing date we would expect the court to hand down judgement to either uphold or quash the inspector's decision.
6th Aug 2012
A legal challenge has been lodged against the decision of the Planning Inspector to allow the Chiplow and Jack's Lane Wind Farms following the Public Inquiry earlier this year. The legal challenge is questioning the Inspector's consideration of the information and evidence submitted during the Public Inquiry.
A date for a court hearing will be released in due course: our current understanding is that we can expect a one-day hearing between November and December, but this could change. A few weeks after the hearing date we would expect the court to hand down judgement to either uphold or quash the inspector's decision.
We will keep you updated as the matter progresses.
24th May 2012
Please find attached the Inspectors decision for the Jack's Lane and Chiplow conjoined Public Inquiry held in King's Lynn earlier this year. In short both wind farms have been allowed by the inspector subject to planning conditions.
To view a copy of the Appeal Decisions paper, click here :- Appeal Decisions
9th May 2012
Further to my previous monthly update we are still yet to receive a decision from PINS.
We have received an updated timetable from PINS advising that the likely decision date is now 28th May 2012. I will of course advise you all as soon as we have received a decision.
3rd April 2012
There has been nothing further on this project since the March update email (below) - we are awaiting a decision from the Planning Inspectorate.
6th March 2012
PROPOSED WIND FARMS JACK'S LANE (BETWEEN STANHOE AND NORTH CREAKE)AND CHIPLOW (BETWEEN SYDERSTONE AND BIRCHAM)
Many of you think that the plans to build two wind farms just south of Burnham Market have gone away. This is not the case. But all is not lost.
The developers of both Jack's Lane (between Stanhoe and North Creake), and Chiplow (between Syderstone and Bircham) appealed to the Secretary of State asking him to overturn the unanimous decisions taken by the local council in King's Lynn to refuse planning permission for both developments. A planning inspector was duly appointed and a public hearing convened in King's Lynn.
The hearing took place over 3 and a half weeks and ended ten days ago.
The outcome of the appeal will be issued on 20th April. Both local community groups (CAPE and ATAC), formed to resist these developments, were represented at the Appeal. They produced detailed evidence and employed high quality counsel to argue their case.
On balance, CAPE believes that they won the argument. At the end of the hearing, the only argument left to the developers was 'If we can't build turbines here, where can we build them in lowland Britain?' If they win their case, there will be absolutely nothing to stop further development along the whole of the Fleggburgh Ridge. This is the ridge of the high ground that runs from West to East from Hunstanton to Cromer, just to the south of Burnham Market. The turbines will swamp us. As we look out to sea we can already see the beginnings of the turbines that will extend from horizon to horizon. Turn about, and we will see turbines from horizon in land.
The cost of defending our landscape has been enormous. We are struggling to pay our way. All of us will be affected if these things go ahead. We all know that everyone always thinks that someone else will deal with it. This is one of those occasions when all of us need to step forward. Can I ask you please to contribute to the fighting fund. As little as £50 will help but if you are able to give more it would be hugely appreciated. To date, the whole enterprise has been funded by a very few people who would welcome some support.
Please send your cheques in favour of CAPE to Dr Brent Weller, Cornflake Barn, South Creake, Fakenham, Norfolk, NR21 9LY. Do please include your name and address so they can at least acknowledge receipt.
29th February 2012
The conjoined public inquiry for the proposed Jack's Lane and Chiplow wind farm projects closed on Wednesday 25th February 2012 with closing submissions from all parties following three and a half weeks of evidence and an Inspectors site visit.
The inspector advised that a decision is likely to be released in April 2012. I will circulate the decision once we have received it.
1st February 2012
Yesterday the conjoined public inquiry for the proposed Jack's Lane and Chiplow wind farm projects started in the Wembley Room at Lynnsport in King's Lynn.
The programme is still as distributed previously (version G of the timetable) and there is room for members of the public to attend. The Inspector stated that he would expect the decisions to be made by mid April 2012.
13th January 2012
The Council has produced a website providing details of the forthcoming public inquiry for the Jack's Lane and Chiplow wind farms here http://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=26558
The website contains the inquiry timetable and proofs of evidence which set out detailed discussions put forward by the different parties.
3rd January 2012
Please find below an update on the Jack's Lane Wind Farm for the month of December.
On 23rd December RES, E.On, the Council and the Rule 6 parties (CAPE & ATAC) exchanged proofs of evidence which set out the opinions of their respective expert witnesses for the Inspector's consideration for the appeals and will be relied upon during the public inquiry for Jack's Lane and Chiplow wind farms.
An updated version of the Inquiry Timetable is available by clicking on the CLG Inquiry timetable link below.
RES have continued to work with the Council, Natural England and RSPB to ensure the mitigation package for pink footed geese is appropriate.
2nd December 2011
Please find below an update on the Jack's Lane Wind Farm for the month of November.
On 16th November there was a pre-inquiry meeting with the Inspector Robert Mellor, the Council, E.On, CAPE, ATAC and RES. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss procedural matters, timetable, outline of the main issues for the inquiry, and arrangements for submission of documents.
I attach here the current timetable for the inquiry so you can know when something of particular interest to you is being discussed, however, please note this may change prior to, and during, the inquiry. To see timetable click on CLG Inquiry timetable.
At present it is the intention that the inquiry will take place in the Wembley Room of the Lynn Sport and Leisure Park, Greenpark Avenue, Kings Lynn PE30 2NB, although the Council did say they may try to find an alternative more central location in King's Lynn.
1st November 2011
Please find below an update on the Jack's Lane Wind Farm for the month of October.
The Planning Inspectorate has appointed Robert Mellor as the Inspector for the forthcoming public inquiry.
The Council has produced its questionnaire which sets out the correspondence which is material to the planning decision for the project.
The Council, RES and CAPE (the 'Rule 6 Party') have all produced their own Statement of Case which sets out the key elements of their case that they would like to present at the inquiry.
Draft core document lists have been produced by some of the parties, these lists set out which documents the expert witnesses may refer to during the inquiry. These lists shall be combined into one core document list that is common to all parties and sets of those documents (or extracts of them to avoid unnecessary printing) shall be made available at the inquiry - one set each for: the Inspector, the Rule 6 parties, the applicants, the Council, the public, and the witness under examination.
All the above documents are available from the Council's website.
3rd October 2011
The Planning Inspectorate (PINS) has now agreed with the various parties involved in the Jack's Lane and Chiplow wind farms that the conjoined public inquiry shall start on Tuesday 31st January 2012 and shall run for 4 weeks. The inquiry venue shall be Wembley Room, Lynnsport, Green Park Way, King's Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 1EX
The various parties will now need to agree the programme of topics to be examined during those 4 weeks to tie in with the availability of the expert witnesses. Typically the inquiry only sits Tuesday to Friday from 9 till 5, but this shall be confirmed with the parties in due course and shall depend on the likelihood of all evidence being heard within those normal timescales.
2nd September 2011
On 16th August RES submitted an application to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate (PINs) and they allocated it case reference APP/V2635/A/11/2158966/WF (should you be minded to make submissions to PINs it is important that this reference is clearly given).
PINs have consulted with the local authority, E.On (the developers of the Chiplow project) and the Rule 6 Parties (those groups who have formally applied to be represented at the public inquiry) and have decided that the Jack's Lane appeal should be conjoined with the Chiplow appeal. This means that there will be one long (probably 2-3 weeks) public inquiry dealing with both projects. PINs have indicated that the first availability they have would be the week commencing 17th January 2012. The various parties will now need to agree what dates are most appropriate for the public inquiry so that their relevant expert witnesses can attend. It is likely that not all expert witnesses will be available for the whole inquiry period so the parties may have to agree which topics will be considered during specific periods of the inquiry.
The public inquiry process can seem daunting and will be complicated somewhat in this case by being conjoined. I would recommend that you look at section 6 of the document here to get an overview of the process, and if you are minded to submit representations to PINs you should go to this website to get advice. If members of the CLG think that a meeting to go through the appeal process would be beneficial please let me know and I'll see if we can arrange something in the next month or so.
17th August 2011
Yesterday an application to appeal the decision of King's Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council to refuse planning permission for the Jack's Lane Wind Farm was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate (PINs). PINs will now process the application and will liaise with RES and the Council to find a convenient time to hold the public inquiry. In this they shall also be considering whether to conjoin the public inquiry for Jack's Lane with that of Chiplow.
Once a date is set I will be able to give you a better idea of the programme.
10th August 2011
This is just to advise you that yesterday RES submitted a letter to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) informing them of our intention to appeal against the decision of King's Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council to refuse planning permission for the Jack's Lane Wind Farm. We have requested that the Jack's Lane appeal be conjoined (i.e. held concurrently) with the Chiplow appeal owing to the proximity of the two projects to each other and their similar nature and to reduce costs that may be incurred by other parties participating in such an appeal. It is also our understanding that it is the wish of the Council and local communities that such an appeal be conjoined
We will submit the actual application to appeal with accompanying Grounds of Appeal shortly.
2nd August 2011
On 25 July the Development Control Board of King's Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council voted to refuse planning permission for the Jack's Lane Wind Farm citing the reasons given in the planning officer's report. RES were disappointed in the decision and we are considering our options.
18th July 2011
Ii is confirmed that the Jack's Lane application is due to be determined by the King's Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council Development Control Board next Monday 25th July at 1.30pm in the Corn Exchange, Tuesday Market Place, King's Lynn.
For a copy of the complete agenda, click on Complete meeting agenda 250711
1st July 2011
During June we continued to work with Natural England to make some final amendments to the unilateral undertaking under Section 106 relating to the pink-footed goose mitigation proposals. Those changes have now been agreed with Natural England and the Council are now carrying out a legal review of the document prior to undertaking an Appropriate Assessment of the effects of the proposed wind farm on the North Norfolk Coast Special Protection Area.
It is currently expected that the wind farm application will be determined by the Council's Development Control Board on 25th July. I will distribute details closer to the time once the date is confirmed.
E-On have submitted an application to appeal the refusal of planning permission for the nearby Chiplow Wind Farm and the Planning Inspectorate have decided that it should be determined by way of a Public Inquiry. No date has been set yet for that Public Inquiry.
4th June 2011
Since the King's Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council Development Control Board (DCB) deferred the decision on the planning application for the Jack's Lane Wind Farm on 18th April we have been in discussion with them and Natural England on the proposed agreement relating to off-site mitigation measures for the pink-footed goose population. The application will not be determined at the 6 June DCB meeting but may be determined in July.
4th May 2011
The Development Control Board met on 18th April to decide whether to approve Jack's Lane Wind Farm along with other applications. The Officer's Report recommended refusal of the application on the grounds of: potential landscape and visual effects within 2.5km of the site; potential cumulative landscape and visual effects with other proposed wind farms in the area; adverse effects on the settings of Bloodgate Hillfort, Barmer Church and Houghton Park; and potential effects on the pink-footed goose population. The Officer's Report is included in the meeting Agenda which is available here: http://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/pdf/DCBAG1804112.pdf
Natural England submitted a consultation response to the council on the 11th April confirming that they no longer have an objection to the proposed wind farm; this position is dependent on a proposed Section 106 Agreement which is still to be finalised. Owing to the late submission of this correspondence, the Council considered that they should defer the decision on the wind farm application until such time as they have been able to carry out an Appropriate Assessment in accordance with the Habitats Regulations 2010. The Schedule of Late Correspondence which includes Natural England's most recent correspondence and the Council's decision to defer the decision is available here: http://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/pdf/18-04-11%20-%20Late%20Reports%20-%20DCB.pdf
At the same meeting the DCB voted to refuse permission for the nearby Chiplow Wind Farm on grounds of landscape, aviation and cultural heritage. The members also expressed a desire to include potential effects on pink-footed geese as a reason for refusal despite no objection from Natural England or RSPB.
The next DCB meeting is scheduled for 6th June.
4th April 2011
A quick note to let you know what has been happening with the Jack's Lane project during March.
We are still working with RSPB and Natural England to design an off-site mitigation plan for the pink-footed geese, but we are hopeful that a scheme will be agreed shortly.
The project is due to be determined by the Development Control Board at the council's offices in King's Lynn on 18th April, the meeting will start at 10am.
1st March 2011
During February RES continued to respond to consultation responses submitted to the council.
As a result of the additional information relating to cultural heritage submitted by RES, English Heritage now has restricted its objection to concerns about potential effects on Houghton Hall, Bloodgate Hillfort and Barmer Church.
RES are continuing to work with RSPB and Natural England to determine the best way to deliver appropriate compensation measures for pink-footed geese in the form of off-site sugar beet management.
RES has responded to the CAPE Rebuttal and Reg Thompson's report dated December and September 2010 respectively.
It is our understanding that the council intends to determine the project at the meeting of the Development Control Board on 18th April.
3rd Feb 2011
Sorry for not sending an update at the start of January, this was owing to the holidays.
During December and January RES continued to respond to correspondence received by the council relating to the Jack's Lane Wind Farm. That correspondence and our replies are available on the council website. I have provided Jonathan Powell of CAPE with a full package of RES correspondence to the council submitted between the time of the planning application and 20th January.
As you will probably be aware, RES commissioned a poll by Populus to gauge public opinion of the project and renewable energy in general. For that poll to be statistically valid it required at least 1,000 respondents. Based on a response rate of 1 in every 10 people who are called, it was necessary to have a search area of 10,000 homes, which informed the radius of the poll. We would like to confirm that all those surveyed in the poll were within 10 miles of the wind farm site, an issue I am aware has been cause for concern for some of the CLG group. We recognise and have highlighted that there are those who still have concerns over the proposed wind farm, however, the poll does indicate that there are many people in the area who are not opposed to the project.
In December RES provided the council with a draft set of planning conditions for their consideration. A number of people have suggested that these conditions should have been contained within the Environmental Statement and formed part of the planning application. It is our view that planning conditions are imposed by the council based on the facts of the proposal as they see fit: it is not for the developer to impose their own planning conditions and it would not be appropriate to include them in an environmental statement. Nevertheless, RES has a great deal of experience of wind farm planning conditions and we typically find it constructive to work with the council on conditions once they have had time to consider consultation responses so that the conditions are relevant to the application, enforceable, and precise. This engagement process means the developer and council are more likely to agree on those conditions and makes it less likely that the developer might have to apply to vary those conditions at a later date.
We understand that it is currently expected that the project will be determined by the Development Control Board in March. We will send out an email to publicise the date when it is confirmed.
If you have any questions that I could help with in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me.
17th Jan 2011
Letter from RES concerning the recent Jack's Lane Windfarm Poll undertaken by phone during Dec 2010.
"Please find attached a summary report of Populus' findings of the Jack's Lane poll. It is clear from the findings that there is equally divided opinion about the proposal in and around the wards of Burnham, Docking, Rudham, Snettisham, Brancaster, Hunstanton, Dersingham and The Raynhams. With 51% in favour of the Jack's Lane proposal within the area surveyed we hope that this is an accurate reflection of local opinion about the wind farm proposal.
We intend to continue to work hard to answer any questions the local community may have about the Jack's Lane wind farm and continue to address their concerns. We hope that our Community Liaison Group meetings, exhibitions and newsletters have been a helpful part of this process....."
To view the 'attached' results summary report, click on Jack's Lane Poll Summary Report
3rd Dec 10
During November RES continued to respond to consultation responses to the Jack's Lane Wind Farm planning application which are available on the council's website here: http://online.west-norfolk.gov.uk/publicaccess /tdc/DcApplication/application_detailview.aspx?caseno=L7AIR0IV05900
It was agreed that with Christmas and the likely planning committee date not being far off, the next CLG meeting would be some time after the planning committee.
On 14th November CAPE flew a red balloon over the site at the height of the proposed turbines' blade tips. A photo of it taken from Stanhoe is available here: http://stanhoe.org/news/278/173/Balloon-view
4th Nov 10
I have just been informed that the Development Control Board meeting to determine the Jack's Lane and Chiplow projects will now be on 10th January. The officer's report will be distributed to the DCB on 17th December, so representations will need to be with the officer prior to that date (probably 10th Dec as a reasonable cut off date).
2nd Oct 10
King's Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council are continuing to consult on the Jack's Lane Wind Farm planning application. I have been told that they intend to take the application to the development control board on the 6th December and that all representations made to the council prior to the 1st December will be considered, however, it would help the planning officer if representations are made sooner rather than later so they can be given careful consideration.
The next CLG meeting is scheduled for 27th October in Stanhoe.
CAPE intend to fly a balloon over the proposed wind farm site on the weekend of 23rd and 24th October.
3rd Sept 10
In response to a question at the last CLG meeting concerning the expiry of the Standard and Neighbour consultation, I attach a letter sent to inform parishioners of the discussion with King's Lynn Planning Dept.
"Simon Peltenburg has contacted Gillian Richardson, Senior Planner at the King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council, outlining the discussion held by the CLG in regards to the expiry period for standard and neighbour consultation. He highlighted that the feeling of the CLG was that the period for submission was very short. He requested she confirm until what date representation could be made for consideration in her report to the council.
Gillian has now responded and has stated that the newspaper deadline/site notice is the 17th September and that, providing submissions are made shortly after this date, they will still be taken in to account. She outlined that all representation submitted prior to the report being written will be taken into consideration.
I hope this helps to clarify the deadline for when submissions can be made."
3rd Aug 10
We are now doing final checks of the Environmental Statement (ES) which will be submitted with the planning application for the Jack's Lane Wind Farm. I am due to have an internal pre-submission review, which is part of our quality control procedures, tomorrow, and if that goes well I will start printing the ES to submit the application by mid August. This will be accompanied by a Planning Statement which is being completed now.
At the same time as the planning application for the wind farm we will submit an application for a temporary wind monitoring mast to supplement the data previously obtained. This generated some debate at the recent CLG meeting. The purpose of collecting wind data is to enable us to understand past wind conditions and to forecast what they are likely to be in the future. All wind predictions have a degree of uncertainty associated with them and the more data one has the less uncertainty there is: we would like to have a new mast on site to reduce the uncertainty associated with our predictions. This does not mean that the data we have collected is not valid.
Minutes of previous meetings and presentations given are available here: http://www.jackslanewindfarm.co.uk/about-the-project/community-liaison-group.aspx
The draft minutes of the most recent meeting will be available soon.
8th July 10
Sorry for the slightly late monthly update; I have been out of the office a great deal recently.
As discussed at the latest CLG meeting, the Chiplow Wind Farm planning application was submitted in May; this has meant that we have had to carry out cumulative assessments of the additional effects of the Jack¬ís Lane project to the effects of the Chiplow project. As a result of this additional work we anticipate submitting the Jack¬ís Lane application in early August.
At the CLG meeting Dr Steve Percival gave a presentation on birds and wind farms in general and the potential effects of the Jack¬ís Lane proposal. His presentation is on the CLG webpage here: http://www.jackslanewindfarm.co.uk/about-the-project/community-liaison-group.aspx
North Creake Parish Council have been asked to carry out a poll to get the views of the community on the Jack¬ís Lane proposal; this poll will take place on Thursday. As the Environmental Statement which will accompany the planning application is not currently available for people to find out details of the project RES felt it appropriate to send out a letter to North Creake residents highlighting some of the key facts about the project in advance of the poll.
8th June 10
The next CLG meeting will be on 16th June at 7pm in the Amy Robsart hall in Syderstone and will focus on bird issues. Steve Percival, an ornithologist who has been working on the project, will attend to make a brief presentation of his findings and to take questions.
In the last month the consultants working on the project have been finishing their environmental assessments for RES review and to inform any mitigation measures that might be required.
4th May 10
On 11th April we held the third public consultation exhibition, this time at Syderstone Hall, which was well attended.
We also provided a coach trip to the North Pickenham Wind Farm and the Ecotech Centre in Swaffham. Feedback was very positive with many attendees commenting that they were pleased to have experienced first hand the actual noise from large wind turbines.
On 14th April the Community Liaison Group met at Syderstone Hall and Jeremy Bass from RES came to discuss noise issues and to answer questions. His presentation is available here: http://www.jackslanewindfarm.co.uk/about-the-project/community-liaison-group.aspx
The next CLG meeting is on 19th May at the community hall in Stanhoe at 7pm.
At present consultants are carrying out assessments of the proposed wind farm for the purposes of the Environmental Impact Assessment which will produce an Environmental Statement that will accompany the planning application. RES hope to be able to submit that planning application this summer.
26th April 10
To view the Noise Presentation slides that were shown at the last CLG meeting on 14 April, click on Noise Presentation slides. This is a large file and will take some time to download. You will need Adobe Reader to view this file. Not got Adobe Reader? Download for free on the link below
1st April 10
In the last month we have sent out newsletters confirming that the Jack¬ís Lane Wind Farm proposal is only for 6 turbines to be located to the west of Jack¬ís Lane. On the 30th and 31st of March we held public consultation exhibitions in North Creake and Stanhoe respectively, both of which were well attended and we feel they were informative events that gave us significant opportunity to gauge opinions and concerns from the local community.
We will hold a third exhibition on 11th April from 11am to 5pm in Syderstone Amy Robsart Hall, and I hope that those who have not been able to attend the exhibitions so far will be able to come along.
The next Community Liaison Group meeting is planned for 14th April in Syderstone and Jeremy Bass will attend to discuss noise issues ¬Ė I feel that this will be a very useful event and will be of great interest to much of the community who have expressed concerns regarding noise.
Subject to feedback from the final public consultation exhibition we would still hope to be able to submit the planning application for the project in June / July this year.
9th March 10
The local villages residents have just had delivered a newsletter from RES. To view a PDF copy of this newsletter, click on Jack's Lane Newsletter March 2010. This is a large file and will take some time to download.
You will need Adobe Reader to view this file. Not got Adobe Reader? Download for free at
1st March 10
Having met with a large number of local representatives and statutory consultees RES has considered many factors that influence the design of the Jack's Lane Wind Farm. A key concern that has been raised by local communities and conservation bodies is the number of pink-footed geese that use the site. To ensure the project does not have significant effects on this population of geese that are a designating feature of the Special Protection Area of the North Norfolk Coast, RES has limited the extent of the proposed wind farm to turbines on the western side only and the proposal does not have turbines located to the east of Jack's Lane.
RES are keen that all members of the community are informed of this decision and are printing a newsletter early next week which should be posted by the end of the first week in March to all addresses within 6km of the site. The newsletter will show the locations of the proposed turbines and the times of the public consultation exhibitions that we will be holding on:
Tuesday 30th March at North Creake (Lloyd Memorial) Village Hall: 3pm - 8pm
Wednesday 31st March at Stanhoe Village Hall: 10am - 4pm
Sunday 11th April at Amy Robsart Hall in Syderstone: 11am - 5pm
The exhibitions will be an opportunity for members of the public to learn more about the proposal and to ask questions directly to the RES project team. The public will also be invited to put their views and concerns to RES so we can potentially amend the project design to reduce harmful environmental effects while maximising renewable energy generation.
The first Community Liaison Group (CLG) meeting was held on 3rd February. The purpose of the CLG is to establish a means of effective communication between RES and the local communities through the planning phase of the project and, should it be consented, through the construction and operation phases.
20th Feb 10
The first Community Liason Group meeting has been held and the Agenda and Minutes of this and future meetings can be found by clicking on CLG Agendas and Minutes.
The 'Terms of Reference' for the meetings can be found by clicking on CLG Terms of Reference.
2nd Feb 10
Work is ongoing with the design for the Jack¬ís lane Wind Farm Project. We hope to have a layout fixed in the near future and be able to send out newsletters to the local communities this month describing the proposal and advertising forthcoming public consultation exhibitions.
We have continued to meet with local stakeholders, most recently at a meeting chaired by Henry Bellingham MP. At that meeting it was asked whether Parish Councils might be conflicted if they were potential beneficiaries of community benefit funds and therefore might not be able to comment on the wind farm proposal. I have asked for legal advice on this matter and am told that:
Just because Parish Councils receive community benefit does not mean that they are disabled from responding to consultations on applications. The important point is that Parish Councils should make sure that relevant issues are covered in reports to their committees, within the debate, and within the Minutes of the meeting to decide on the wind farm planning application. Specifically:
1. The fact of possible community funds should be recorded along with a reminder that the availability of funds is not relevant to the planning decision.
2. In these circumstances it would be sensible for the planning merits and disbenefits of the proposal to be spelt out in any report.
3. There should be no discussion in the meeting about the availability of funds or (and perhaps in particular) the purposes to which funds should be put.
4. If the question of funds is raised by somebody at the meeting (including a member of the public) then the person raising the topic should be allowed to speak, but the Chair should remind everybody that the issue of funds is irrelevant to the planning decision.
It is worth noting that the Parish Council is not the decision making body, so that even if there was a suspicion that its view was tainted by the possibility of funds, that would not disable the Borough Council from making an appropriate decision. I trust this helps.
In order to make community consultation and dissemination of information as effective as possible RES are setting up a Community Liaison Group which will be in place through the planning process, and construction and operational phases. Group meetings will be open to the public and minutes will be made available.
RES are continuing to meet with statutory consultees to find an optimal design for the wind farm project. We hope to send out newsletters within the next couple of months advertising our preferred layout and the public exhibitions.
In November we continued to meet with parish and county councillors to discuss our proposals and to understand how we might improve the project. We have also been undertaking detailed studies of the topographical surveys to specify any widening works required for our access route.
As our consultations have been so productive and we are now approaching Christmas we expect that the newsletter describing the proposal and advertising public exhibitions will be delayed until the new year.
I am writing to you to give you a monthly update on the Jack¬ís Lane Wind Farm project. No details of the project have changed since I last wrote to you except that we now hope to send out newsletters towards the end of this month or early December and hope to have the exhibitions in the new year.
This was formally known as Bluestone Farm Wind Farm.
A meeting with representatives of RES, the contracting developers of the now called Jack's Lane Wind Farm project, was held last week and printed below is a brief resume of the points of interest that were confirmed at the meeting.
"There will be no more than 20 turbines in the planning application. The actual number that we will be proposing is still under review and is subject to further consultations."
"The access route is subject to agreement with Norfolk County Highways but at present we propose that the construction vehicles will approach from the A148, heading north on the B1454 (Docking Road) and then turn right at Hyde Park onto Barwick Road before entering the site at Barwick Hall Farm. We do not intend to bring any lorries through the Creakes."
"Wind farm projects that are over 50MW are determined by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and are referred to as 'Section 36' projects as they are determined under the powers of Section 36 of the Electricity Act. Wind farms of less than 50MW are determined by the local authority (KLWNBC) under the Town and Country Act.
The Jack's Lane Wind Farm will be less than 50MW and would therefore be determined by the local authority.....with representations from the Parish Councils and local residents."
"Wind farm developers typically offer a community benefit fund to be used in the vicinity of the wind farm. Such funds are a way for developers to contribute in a visible and positive way to the local community; they are not connected in any way to the planning process and will not be taken into account by the decision makers. At present developers typically provide about ¬£2,000 per installed MW of a wind farm per annum."
"RES will always try and use local contractors for the construction phase where reasonably practical to maximise local economic benefits."
"RES do not propose to use Stanhoe Lane, Swan's Lane or Jack's Lane as access tracks; we will instead be constructing new tracks which will be private and will therefore not be available for recreational off-road vehicles."
"At this time we are still waiting for confirmation of the route for the cabling needed to connect the wind farm to the electricity grid. It will however be routed underground."
"....should Jack's Lane be consented a survey would be undertaken of TV's in areas where interference might occur, then, after construction, a further survey would be carried out to see if reception has worsened; if it has RES would pay for equipment needed to restore the quality of reception."
"Wind farm planning consents will normally have a condition attached obliging the developer to remove any turbine that does not generate any electricity for a period of (say) 9 months. There will also be a condition limiting the period of the planning permission to 25 years, so we would have to either take the turbines down then or apply for new planning permission. To ensure there are sufficient funds available to take the turbines down at the end of 25 years (or after 9 months of not operating) we would have a decommissioning bond which could only be used for dismantling turbines.
At decommissioning all components would be removed to a depth of 1m below ground."
"At present we hope to send out a newsletter in late September / early October advertising public exhibitions. The newsletter will contain key facts about the project including the wind farm layout that we feel is appropriate for the site and that maximises the renewable energy generation capacity of the site while respecting the local environment and community.
We will then expect to hold public exhibitions at the end of October. The exhibitions will allow us to provide further detailed information to the public should they have questions unanswered by the newsletter. They will also be an opportunity for the local community to provide detailed knowledge that may affect the design of the project and to highlight any concerns they may have.
Depending on the feedback from the public exhibitions we would hope to submit a planning application for the project in the new year.
It would take a minimum of one year to pass through the planning system and for us to discharge the various conditions that may be attached to the planning consent.
We would then order our wind turbines which would take about one year to be manufactured and delivered. So the earliest the turbines would potentially be erected is early 2012, however, this is a very optimistic scenario."
"RES is not involved in the other wind farms at Docking or Chiplow which are being developed by West Coast Energy and E-On respectively."
Bluestone Farm Wind Farm
The latest information available (not at this stage confirmed) on the proposed Bluestone Farm Wind Farm.
* The proposed wind farm will cover an area of 465 hectares and will be spread over four Parishes, South Creake, Syderstone, Stanhoe and North Creake.
* The location of the site in the South Creake Parish extends from the top of Bloodgate Hill to the boundaries of Syderstone, Stanhoe and North Creake.
* The site will accommodate up to 30 turbines and according to the information available would generate enough electricity every year to satisfy the average annual requirements of approxamately 38,500 homes.
* Each turbine would be three-bladed, up to 127m tip height and nominated at up to 2.3MW, the overall capacity of the wind farm would be up to 69MW (if consisting of 30 turbines).
* If constructed to the above details it would be the largest on-shore wind farm in England.
* A rough example of the size of each of the proposed turbines - the diameter of the blades will be similar to the wing span of a jumbo jet.
The following map shows the location and boundaries of the proposed wind farm.
The lines marked in red are the boundaries of the area of the proposed wind farm.
The lines marked in yellow are the boundaries of South Creake Parish.
The red cross is the present site of the anemometer test mast.
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