Legal loophole sees village turbine plans go straight to appeal

A WIND FARM application will go straight to appeal after a legal loophole allowed it to bypass the planning process.

Energy giant e.on is hoping to build seven turbines in Winwick Warren, and had put an application into Daventry District Council’s (DDC) planning department.

But DDC didn’t set up a planning meeting within the set timescale which has enabled the firm to skip the process and apply for non-determination, sending it straight to appeal.

For straightforward applications a request for non-determination may be submitted after eight-weeks if no action has been taking by the local planning department.

For major applications this rises to 13 weeks and for a development that requires an environmental impact assessment an appeal may be submitted after 16 weeks.

e.on’s request has been granted and Winwick wind farm protesters have been told the appeal will be heard in Bristol early next year.

Campaigner Caroline Houghton, from Guilsborough, is worried about the prospect of 150-tonne vehicles which are around five-metres wide carrying equipment through the village to get to Winwick.

She said: “We would have preferred to go through DDC because that would enable us to outline our views at the planning meeting.

“But what we are doing now is making sure we still write to both DDC and the planning inspector outlining all of our arguments.

“We still have to fight the plans. Anyone who knows the village knows it’s ludicrous to try and get these vehicles through her.

“We have some houses here in Guilsborough which date back to 1601 and this could destroy them.”

A spokesman for e.on said: “We have lodged a planning appeal for our proposed Winwick wind farm and the appeal was accepted as valid by the planning inspectorate.

“It is expected that a public inquiry will now be held early next year to determine the planning application.”

Last month campaign groups throughout the district issued a rallying call for people to back their wind farm protests.

If all the applications in the area are given the go ahead their will be turbines at Watford Lodge, Yelvertoft, Winwick Warren, Kelmarsh, Lilbourne, DIRFT, Boddington and Long Buckby.