THREE separate planning applications have been tabled to erect wind turbines in the Staffordshire Moorlands.
Planning officers have recommended that a 34.2 metre (112 ft to blade tip) turbine at Growgutter Farm in Park Lane, Ipstones, is refused after an objection was received from the National Air Traffic Services. (NATS).
A planning report to councillors by planning officer Robin Forrester said: “A key issue in relation to this proposal is the impact on air traffic control, and the objection from NATS, the statutory consultee on this matter.
“Clearly, where a proposed turbine has an impact on the equipment of NATS and corresponding harm to air safety, this is a serious consideration which is compelling and is considered to significantly outweigh any benefits that would rise from the generation of sustainable energy.”
Officers have also recommended that a 34.2 metre to blade tip (112ft) turbine should be refused at Woodend Farm, Westwood, Wetley Rocks.
Planning officer Rachel Simpkin said in her report to councillors: “Insufficient information has been supplied by the applicant to demonstrate that the proposed development would not be incompatible with existing noise sensitive properties adjoining the site.”
The council’s environmental officer has also objected to the proposal on the grounds that there is limited site specific information and predicted impacts provided in support of the application.
The report said: “Consequently, a reason for refusal is proposed on the grounds of insufficient information in respect of protecting the amenity of nearby neighbours from adverse noise."
A third application has, however, been recommended for approval.
This relates to a 34.2 metre (112 ft to blade tip) turbine at Three Nooks Farm, Horton.
A planning report by Arne Swithenbank states the turbine would be erected in an adjoining field coming to within 50 metres north east of the site, where there is a complex planning history linked with the exploration and exploitation of a significant natural gas field currently under development.
Horton Parish Council has objected to the proposals.
Mr Swithenbank recommends approval subject to a locationspecific noise report acceptable to the council’s environment health officer.
The planning officer said: “By definition the proposal is inappropriate development for the Green Belt.
However, the National Planning Policy Framework states that the very special circumstances require to justify a development that would otherwise be inappropriate in the Green Belt may include the wider environment benefits of producing energy from renewable sources.
“The degree of harm when considered against the two key characteristics and five defined purposes of the Green Belt is found overall to be limited.
“No harm has been found to arise in relation to residential amenity and or ecology.”
The planning meeting will be held in the council chambers at Moorlands House in Leek, tormorrow, Thursday, at 2pm.