The future of the Fens is put in focus

17:33 14 January 2014

Wind farm

Wind farm

Archant

Two sets of guidelines have been drawn up to give advice on Fenland wind farms and to make sure new builds are well designed.

The guidelines, released today (Tuesday 14), are to help councillors decide what planning applications should be given the go ahead.

For wind farms, the updated guidelines have been produced following “numerous wind turbine developments within the Fenland district, ranging from individual turbines to wind farm developments.”

The first wind farm document was drawn up in 2009, now, five years later, the new paperwork, called Resource Use, covers issues like how to build more environmentally friendly homes and how to generate renewable energy.

For new buildings the document, called Delivering and Protecting High Quality Environments in Fenland, aims to ensure new developments are of a high quality design.

Once approved both of the documents will form part of the core strategy document - the council’s planning bible.

There are currently 38 wind turbines in the Fens with a further 35 yet to be installed.

They are among more than 4,000 turbines in operation across the UK, with 2,857 under construction and a further 2,995 in the planning system.

The new document will draw up guidelines for small, medium and large wind farms ranging from 15 metres to 50 metres in height.

It includes information like how the council prefers three-bladed turbines with a solid tapering tower, how blades must rotate in the same direction and how significant overlapping of rotating blades must be avoided.

Turbines must not become the main feature of the skyline from public viewpoints, the report says, except where the proposal is an extension.

Councillor Peter Murphy. FDC’s Cabinet member responsible for growth and the environment, said: “These documents will help to underpin important aspects of our growth strategy over the coming years.

“They provide detailed policy guidance that will strengthen our ability to give proper consideration to planning applications for all forms of renewable energy and play an important part in promoting good design principles.”

All comments will be taken into account when the documents are finalised before going back to full council for final approval later this year.

Copies of both documents are available on the council’s website at www.fenland.gov.uk/article/3041/Neighbourhood-Strategy-Planning-Policy, and in the usual consultation locations such as libraries and Fenland @ your service shops.

Comments can be sent online to neighbourhoodstrategy@fenland.gov.uk or by post to Neighbourhood Strategy, Fenland Hall, County Road, March PE15 8NQ. All comments must be received by the council by 5pm on Tuesday, February 24.

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