Parish council views irrrelevant

PUBLISHED: 16:30 28 September 2007 | UPDATED: 23:04 28 May 2010

I HAVE no view on wind turbines one way or the other but if John Stoneman is to be successful in his campaign, he may wish to acquire a good working knowledge of the planning system before writing to the paper. What Doddington Parish Council, or indeed an

I HAVE no view on wind turbines one way or the other but if John Stoneman is to be successful in his campaign, he may wish to acquire a good working knowledge of the planning system before writing to the paper.

What Doddington Parish Council, or indeed any other parish council, feels about wind turbines is largely irrelevant.

There is a firm-held belief that parish councils have considerable influence in planning decisions, whereas in reality, plans are only shown to parish councils as part of the consultation process for a local input.

As any parish council will tell you, the district council does not necessarily act upon the views or the information given by a parish council and the ultimate decision for granting applications lies with Fenland District Council -- though this in itself is an over simplification.

Planning decisions are made against a backdrop of planning law and also against a back drop of government initiatives.

Fenland cannot refuse applications that would succeed on appeal or go against the strategy handed down from Government.

Therefore, although the letter is passionate, it is pointless. You need to direct your campaigning aims at someone who can do something - and in the case of wind turbines it is going to be far higher up the scale - possibly your local MP or, closer to home, your Fenland District Councillor.

If local wind developers are approaching parish councils for their backing, they are probably wasting their time. But it is good manners for local wind developers to explain to the parish councils what their plans are and, of course, as all parish council meetings are open to the public, then residents too can attend.

I would suggest the first step in a successful campaign is to work courteously with your parish council and to fully appraise yourself of the planning process and Government policy so as to take appropriate action.

LIZ WRIGHT

Hook

Wimblington

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