Apologies for not doing this sooner. Due to personal circumstances we cannot organise every protest but we are willing to help groups who want to oppose.
As ever we can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of you may wish to use this letter as a template to write a letter.
Some hints. This includes Peterborough planning, but you may also wish to use the National Planning Policy Framework too. It can be found here.
It is also worth noting that you do not have to include all of this, pick and choose sections.
It is also important to support it with evidence. Do not use hearsay as this will not hold any weight. (If you have seen something then that is valid, just do not include anything which could be interpreted as rumour) If you have photos or newspaper clippings or expert opinions then include these.
Finally keep your emotion in check until the end. When discussing policy Keep it cold and detached. To close let the planning officer know how you feel.
Hope this helps.
Stewart House East Wing
St Johns Street
RE. Willow Hall Farm, Willow Hall Lane, Thorney, Peterborough.
Dear Miss McSherry
I am writing to register the strongest possible objection to the proposed wind turbines at Willow Hall Thorney.
Cumulative Impact CS20 from Peterborough Core Strategy (PCS) 2012
This development will significantly impact upon the landscape and the character of our unique Fenland. (Landscape 4: Peterborough Fens) The impact photographs supplied by the applicant and their agent is not representative of the impact it will have upon the landscape. They have been chosen to demonstrate a lesser impact. (You may wish to include some areas you use for dog walking, horse riding etc which will be damaged by this development)
Furthermore the cumulative impact of wind turbines needs to be considered. With over 140 wind turbines being planned in this area there is a real and serious threat to destroying the historic landscape of the area and archaeology which predates the Bronze Age. This not only threatens landscape character 4 :Peterborough Fens but also the heritage landscape.
Heritage and Historic Environment. CS17 (PCS) 2012
Cambridge University have in the past recommended extensive archaeological work being carried out before any development of this sort can begin in these areas. Moreover, the applicant does not seem to have submitted photographic evidence demonstrating the impact of the development upon the historic landscape, this should be submitted as part of the application. Much of the estimated impact is based upon the applicants’ opinion. No consideration is taken of the historic setting of Thorney and it’s historically significant Abbey and other listed heritage buildings. ( Again any additional information or photos about the impact on heritage would help the case)
Biodiversity and Geological consideration (CS21)
This area is well known for its wildlife. It is close to many Country Wildlife Sites and with numerous hedgerows and drains in the area there are significant threats to protected species such as birds, reptiles and insects. (Again add any information you have. Photographs of raptors or other protected species will help the case. Hearsay is not enough – although you can ask for a full assessment above and beyond what the applicant has done. Pay particular attention to hedgerows and the rich diversity that you can see in the nearby vicinity. This will counter the claims placed in the existing environmental impact assessment submitted by the applicants)
Whilst mitigation can take place the huge number of applications in the area will make relocation of these species impossible for the applicant. It will take years, if ever, for these species to return to the current status they enjoy. CS11 (PCS 2012) stipulates that renewable energy should not destroy diversity and no mitigation can guarantee that species will not have their habitats permanently destroyed by this development.
Moreover with so many applications gaining approval the mitigation conditions are going to challenge the Planning Control Department to uphold. I have serious concerns that rare species and flora will be destroyed and that the bio-diversity will be destroyed. In particular the Red Kites that fly in this area. Wind turbines of 130 metres will invade their flying space and present a significant threat to their existence.
Impact upon health OI 3 (PCS 2012)
The resonant noises associated with such developments can have a detrimental effect on wildlife and local residents. The potential disturbance to the local environment the light deprivation, flicker, noise and health hazards associated with wind turbines pose a significant risk upon local residents. No community payments can mitigate the real and present danger this plan may have on people, especially those with health issues such as epilepsy. Case law suggests that local people have a right to a healthy life and minimal impact upon amenity. Emerging guidance from the DCLG stipulates that local communities should be listened to over such concerns and dismissing these will be sufficient for central government to call in such applications as has been the case across the UK. (If your family have any health issues which will be affected by this then please state them. Epilepsy, insomnia or any other condition which will exacerbated by these turbines must be stated here.)
Agriculture (PCS 2012) CS1 Settlement hierarchy and PP8 The Rural Economy.
Central government recognises the need for Britain to become more sustainable and as such land is classified to protect the best land from being used for development. The soil we have in the proposed areas is some of the best and most productive in the country. We need as much agricultural land as possible to produce the food we need. The reclassification of this land which will be needed to allow the scheme to go ahead will allow developers easier access to agricultural land. Whilst farming could continue on this land it will set a precedent for other developers to take such land out of use. A condition should be imposed insisting that this land is still used for farming and is not turned into an industrial site. I urge the planning committee to read the councils local plans which states:
PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED WHERE DEVELOPMENT WOULD LEAD TO THE LOSS OF AGRICULTURAL LAND OF GRADES 1, 2 AND 3A EXCEPT WHERE THERE IS AND OVERRIDING NEED AND THERE IS NO OTHER SUITABLE SITE FOR THE SPECIFIC DEVELOPMENT
Traffic CS14 (PCS 2012)
The construction of these turbines will require heavy traffic which will damage local roads and disrupt residents quality of life. Willow Hall Lane is totally unsuitable for heavy traffic. It is narrow with 90 degree bends. It is impractical for turbine blades of the size required for the 130 metre turbines to be transported along this narrow country thoroughfare.
The cumulative impact damage to the lane and verges already unsuitable for heavy vehicles would also make this road unsafe to other road users.
Other considerations including non-material considerations
The planning Department should also consider the impact these turbines have on the value of properties within the location. House prices are significantly diminished when a wind turbine is sited nearby. Even the treat of a wind turbine being built nearby will devalue a home significantly and in many cases make it impossible to sell and therefore worthless. No organisation / company should be allowed to render a family home worthless in the name of profit. Community funds would not
A National News paper reported recently the concerns that wind farms are being given around 30 million a year in compensation to switch off or slow down their turbines because half the electricity they make is not needed as the national grid is unable to cope with the extra power produced in high winds or periods of low demand. It would be unethical for these turbines to be given planning permission if there is the slightest possibility they could be switched off in the future.
As the Rt Hon Eric Pickles, Minister for Communities and Local Government, States:
“The need for renewable energy does not automatically override the environmental protections and planning concerns of local communities and that local topography should be a factor in assessing whether wind turbines have a damaging impact on the landscape.
To conclude the impact of this proposal far outweighs the benefits and I urge the Planning Committee to Stop the destruction of the East of Peterborough by rejecting this application.