Worlaby Turbine

Update July 2014

Appeal by Truelove Farms to the Planning Inspectorate.

PA/2012/1011 (resubmission of PA/2010/1384)

The appeal is to decide via written statements and a site visit.  Comments may be submitted to the Inspectorate via:

Website - www.planningportal.gov.uk/ps

Email - teamp7@pins.gsi.gov.uk

Letter - Rose Holland, The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/06, Kite Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN (in triplicate).

You can ask the Inspector to view the site from your property during the site visit.

All comments must quote the Inspecorate's reference number - APP/Y2003/A/14/2220678.

The NLC Case Officer is Nicholas Lawrence and can be contact on 01724 297309.

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Update February 2014

2012/1011 – refusal of planning permission to erect a wind turbine and associated infrastructure, including access track, external compact housing with underground cabling to the wind turbine, turbine foundation and crane hard standing (resubmission PA/2010/1384) on land at Worlaby Carrs.

 

 

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Summary of WorlabyVillage Petition Against the Proposed Wind Turbines Developoment on the Carrs��� (Ref/PA/2010/1384)

 A team of five Worlaby residents attempted to visit all the households in the village over a period of five days in early February 2011

 We excluded those households whose tenancies are held by Truelove Farms

 All signatories are over 18 years of age

                                                                                                                    

 Total number of households visited:                                                                                 220                                                                                   

Total number of households non-responsive (at least 3 visits)                                        11

 Empty properties                                                                                                                       9

                                                                                                                                    

Residents too frail / indisposed to register their comments                                                  3

Residents known to be on holiday                                                                                            4                                                                                                       

Residents who were undecided (don’t knows)                                                 11                   4%                    

 Abstentions due to professional/parish obligations                                         6                   2%

Not interested                                                                                                            3                   1%

Residents against the petition: (No)                                                                      21                  7%                                                                                                                                                                                 

Residents supporting the Worlaby Village petition against wind turbines:   248                 86%

Total residents polled                                                                                             289                 100%

 

From the above information gathered by Worlaby residents themselves (with the full support of Wolds Against Carrs’ Turbines aka WACT) it is clear that an overwhelming majority of the people living within the village are totally opposed to the proposed Wind Turbine development. Further, it is the expectation of this majority that their elected representatives on Worlaby Parish council will give this petition very serious consideration when casting their individual votes

 

Background to the petition

Worlaby  Carrs in particular is an important site for buzzards, short eared owls and the protected marsh and hen harriers. Apart from the insensitive siting of this development with regards to the ecological concerns, there are also strong feelings within the village that this Wind Turbine development would not only be intrusive into a landscape which is predominantly open but would also be sited within close proximity to Worlaby village - just some 700 metres from the nearest dwelling. Note that in Scotland this application would have been rejected out of hand, as 'over the boarder' they insist that any Wind Turbine development has to be sited at least 2 kilometres away from residential areas.

 Five Worlaby residents got together after attending a number of recent Parish Council meetings where it was clear that many residents were expressing their grave concerns about the proposed Application for a Wind Turbine on Worlaby Carrs. It was argued that at the very least any development of wind turbine sites be sited well away from residential development, nature reserves or sensitive ecological areas.  We decided to attempt to visit all Worlaby households with a petition against the Worlaby Carrs' Wind Turbine Application. We hoped to ascertain not only the depth of feeling within the village but also to inform our Parish Councillors.

The petition was presented to Worlaby Parish Council on Wednesday 9th February. Shortly after this Worlaby Parish Council voted unanimously against the Wind Turbine Application. The residents requested that the petition be submitted by the Parish Council along with their other submissions to the North Lincs Planning Committee for when they consider application forward, this will take place sometime in April. We were delighted that the delivery of the petition to the Parish Council received a round of applause from the attending public and that a photographer from The Scunthorpe Telegraph was present.  An informative article describing village opposition to the proposed development was published in the paper the following day

 But the fight continues. At the time of writing we had raised enough money from the residents of Worlaby to fund a number of full sized signs (Too Big Too Close)  and  volunteers have willingly agreed to have them errected in their front gardens along Low Road and other prominent positions throughout the village.  

I would like to thank Bob and Mel Adcock, Sheridan Jones and Pam Beeforth who along with myself - Pauline Watson - worked really hard to endeavour to produce a balanced survey of village opinions

 

Listed below are a series of question compiled by Worlaby Parish Council from a list of Worlaby residents questions sent to Truelove Farm's agent for them to reply to. The answers below each of the questions are the Unedited answers provided by their agent. 

Application by Truelove Farms, land west of Elsham Road,

Worlaby Carrs

PA/2010/1384

Questions from residents compiled by Worlaby Parish Council

1. How will the turbine benefit the village of Worlaby?

(A) Due to the small scale of the site, the Development will not lead to the generation of a significant number of jobs. There will be construction contract opportunities created during the construction period.

 2. How can you justify putting this mechanical intrusion on a site that has previously been part of, (or neighbouring land) your development under the Countryside Stewardship Program to encourage more diverse wildlife to populate the area?

(A) The installed footprint of the turbine is very small, and therefore does not require much land. The Ecology Chapter of the Supporting Information concluded that it is likely that there would be limited displacement of breeding birds of high conservation value and there is likely to be negligible displacement of other species.

 3. I imagine that you can hear the trains at night sometimes, just as we can....how will you sleep at night if this proposed development goes ahead?

(A) An assessment of noise from operation of the turbine has been carried out, following the recommendations of ETSU-R-97, the method of assessing wind turbine noise recommended by Government Guidance.

Predicted noise levels at all properties (inclusive of possible tonal penalties) are below 35dB, LA90, 10min at wind speeds up to 10 ms-1, therefore meeting the criteria for the simplified assessment method and negating the requirement for an assessment relative to measured background noise levels.

The assessment shows that predicted noise levels at the closest noise sensitive properties are lower than the limits in all cases and therefore comply with the requirements of ETSU-R-97.

 4. How will the proposed turbine affect the tireless hunting of the owls across the fields? Can you promise that there will still be owls quietly hunting across the fields, dikes and drains?

(A) A breeding barn owl survey carried out during the 2010 breeding season recorded no breeding pairs within 1 km of the proposed turbine location (where access was permitted), however breeding was recorded approximately 1.5 km from the turbine location within the wider study area. Barn owl activity within the ornithological survey area was low throughout the survey period.

5. How will the proposed turbine affect the hunting of the Harriers now visiting us? Can you promise that there will still be harriers hunting when you have defiled the area?

(A) The breeding raptor study recorded no target species raptors breeding within 2 km of the turbine location. A pair of marsh harriers was recorded breeding 3.2 km to the north-west of the turbine location within the wider study area, though this species was rarely observed within the ornithological survey area.

 6. How will the proposed turbine affect the light received in the village? It seems to me that modelling provided so far does not go far enough to be sure that the flickering light caused by the turbines will never affect the village? Can you promise that the flicker will not affect the village?

(A) The Companion Guide to PPS22 advises that the shadow flicker effect can only occur within 130 degrees either side of north relative to the turbine position, as turbines do not cast long shadows on their southern side. It also advises that the effect is most likely to occur within 10 rotor diameters of the turbine position (10 rotor diameters is 334 m for the Development). Given that the nearest property is approximately 700 m from the turbine location, no shadow flicker effects are anticipated as a result of the Development.

7. How will you compensate us for the drop in house prices?

(A) There is no definitive answer to the question of whether wind farms have an effect on house prices in the surrounding area? There have been some recent studies most notably by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in 2007. The survey sample consisted of a number of sites in Cornwall and found that house price fluctuations were more likely to be caused by factors other than wind farms despite initial evidence there was an effect.

The full RICS study can be found at:

http://www.rics.org/site/download_feed.aspx?fileID=3524&fileExtension=PDF

8. How will the proposed turbine affect the already poor TV signal received in Worlaby? (We can't all afford Sky)

(A) Wind turbines and other structures have the potential to create interference with television and telecommunication transmissions.

Using the BBC online assessment tool, it is estimated the Development would not affect any homes for which there is no alternative off-air service. Consequently, interference to television signals is not considered likely to occur as a result of the Development, however appropriately worded planning conditions often accompany any planning consent, stating that any effects on television reception that arise as a result of the Development will be remedied and paid for by the Developer.

In respect of television reception, no effects are anticipated after the implementation of appropriate mitigation measures.

9. There are so many foreseeable objections to this application that you must either be daft or have an ulterior motive... since I don't think you are daft, what is your ulterior motive?

(A) Generation of electricity by renewable energy is strongly supported by national planning policy and international targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions. Wind turbines such as the one proposed here will make an important contribution to achieving these targets. There is no ulterior motive with this application.

Several sites have been investigated independently against the following criteria for suitability for wind turbine development:

 National and local designations;

 Local landscape character;

 Planning policy and regional targets;

Wind resource;

Access;

Proximity to the electricity grid;

Topography and appropriate ground conditions; and

Cumulative issues.

 Following this investigation, a number of potential site locations were identified, including the Development site, as being suitable for wind turbine development.

 10. There are few nice villages round here, why do you think it necessary to spoil this one for all concerned, when wind turbine power is a feeble alternative source? Do you think that you will make a profit or is this just about taking government grants?

(A) The UK is the windiest country in Europe. Every unit of electricity from a wind turbine displaces one from conventional power stations: in January 2009, wind turbines in the UK had the capacity to prevent the emission of 3,682,563 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum.

A planning application would not have been submitted if the scheme was economically unfeasible.

 11. Has there been a survey of bats, newts and other species? The surveying of bird life seems to have been very poor, will you be obliged to undertake comprehensive, i.e. more accurate surveying? Maybe you have a conscience and will do so anyway?

(A) Arcus strongly refute the suggestion that the surveys reported in the Supporting Information „…seem to have been very poor‟. The surveys presented in the Supporting Information aim to provide a robust, unbiased, repeatable estimate of activity and provide an appropriate volume of data about the amount of time that birds are present in a given area and/or at potential collision risk height. The surveys used to produce the dataset have been carried out following guidance produced by Natural England and Scottish Natural Heritage based on best practice, and have been tested at public inquiry.

Arcus has contributed to more than 100 windfarm applications throughout the UK since 2006 as well as feasibility or due diligence work on more than 1000 sites across the UK and Ireland which are not in the public domain. Arcus has been responsible for the ecological and ornithological assessments for many of these windfarm applications, 4

12. Why is the position so close to the village when the applicant owns land that would have enabled to turbine to be up to 3 times further away reducing noise levels and visual impact?

(A) There are several factors which have influenced the location of the turbine at Worlaby Carrs:

 Access point – there is an existing access point and access track leading to the location of the turbine. Rather than remove sections of hedgerow and install new track, it is considered less environmentally damaging to upgrade these elements;

 Grid connection – there is an existing kiloVolt (kV) network passing through the site – rather than installing large amounts of new infrastructure it is considered less environmentally damaging to utilise the existing infrastructure;

 The land at the turbine location is much less ecologically sensitive than alternative land to the west;

 The current location complies with noise limits set out in ETSU-R-97 guidance;

The current location avoids telecommunication links – relocation could impact upon these.

13. Secondly the choice of photographic views showing the turbine omitted some very obvious places, such as from the main road at the start of access track and also the nearest houses on Top Road.

(A) The viewpoints selected are aimed to provide a representation of receptors, such as settlements and roads, within 7.5 km of the Development. These locations have been selected by a qualified landscape architect, who has undertaken several landscape and visual assessments for wind farms and wind turbine developments. We believe that the number of visualisations provided is appropriate for this scale of development and we have strived to ensure that these viewpoints are as representative as possible.

1 Gilbert, G., Gibbons, D.W. & Evans, J. (1998) Bird Monitoring Methods. RSPB, Sandy.

2 Hardey, J., Clark, H., Wernham, C., Riley, H., Etheridge, B. & Thompson, D. (2006) Raptors: A field guide to surveying and monitoring. The Stationery Office

14. We hear talk of wind farms but this application is for one only and does not make a ‘wind farm’, is it viable to only install one with all the required infrastructure?

The access track leading to the turbine will be an upgrade of an existing agricultural track. Additionally, the turbine is likely to connect to the existing 11 kV line traversing the site. These two factors limit the amount of new installed infrastructure.

A planning application would not have been submitted if the scheme was not viable.

15. Heard that turbines are more efficient the higher up they are; why is low- lying land like Worlaby Carrs considered appropriate?

The theoretical maximum energy which a wind turbine can extract from the wind is just under 60 %, known as the Betz limit. However, the meaning of efficiency in the context of electricity generation is a redundant concept to apply to wind energy, where the fuel is free. People often confuse efficiency with intermittency, i.e. when the wind does not blow, or lower levels of generation at low windspeeds. Modern turbines are very effective at converting wind energy into electrical energy and therefore low-lying land such as Worlaby Carrs can be effectively utilised for wind energy developments.

(A) The Development site has a good wind resource, which is the primary reason for the location.

 18. Have read several letters from people concerned about birds on the Carrs. Truelove Farms wrote an article for Worlaby Views in 2007 about the Countryside Stewardship Scheme to create a conservation area. The applicant must be an expert on the conservation of many species and can you let us know how the birds will be affected by wind turbine(s)?

Please see the answer to Q11. Additionally, the conclusions of the Ecology chapter of the Supporting Information states “effects on the local bird population will be not significant”.

 19. There are contradictions in the Supporting Information; the D&A Statement refers to the ‘wooded character’ (3.3) of the area and that ‘views of the turbine would become infrequent’ – this is clearly wrong given the open character of the area. Elsewhere the D&A refers to the ‘developed nature of the study area’ – it uses statements like this to suggest that a turbine will not be out of place, - this is misleading.

(A) „Wooded character‟ refers to the landscape character type in which the Development is located, defined by Estell Warren Landscape Architects for North Lincolnshire Council. Landscape character is the distinct and recognisable pattern of landscape elements that occurs consistently in a particular place and the way that this pattern is perceived. Within the study area „Heathy Woodland‟ and „Elevated Wooded Farmland‟ character types exist.

The following section of the Supporting Information clearly demonstrates the „developed nature‟ of the 7.5 km study area:

Visually intrusive elements include pylons and overhead power lines, which cross the northern section of the study area; telecommunications masts; chimneys associated with 6

the built-up edge of Scunthorpe, which lies just beyond the study area in the west; and Brigg power station, which is located at the periphery of the south western section of the study area. Wind turbines associated with a wind farm development at Bagmoor Farm near Normanby can also be seen in some distant views in the west, where they generally form minor components of the wider outlook.

The above points demonstrate that the two statements do not conflict and are factually correct.

20. Concerned about a constant low noise at my property, object to increase in noise and the type of noise.

(A) Please refer to answer to Q3.

 21. The Bird Survey did not see many species which are regularly seen in the study area (little owls, short eared owls). Short term survey should not outweigh consistent sightings over many years?

(A) Please see answer to Q11.

22. Part 2.2 of the Supporting Information refers to the revocation of the Regional Strategy – this has clearly now been reinstated, will the Statement be updated?

(A) The Yorkshire and Humber Plan, Regional Spatial Strategy to 2026 (RSS) was adopted in May 2008. The RSS has been prepared to take account of, rather than merely repeat, national policy. The policies aim to provide clear intent and sense of direction as to what is trying to be achieved for the Region, followed by any spatial priorities of regional or sub-regional significance. The RSS policies focus on issues of regional or sub-regional significance.

The key policy relating to renewable energy is Policy ENV5, which states:

“The Region will maximise improvements to energy efficiency and increases in renewable energy capacity. Plans, strategies, investment decisions and programmes should:

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency and maximise the efficient use of power sources by:

1. Maximising the use of combined heat and power, particularly for developments with energy demands over 2MW, and incorporating renewable sources of energy where possible...

2. Providing for new efficient energy generation and transmission infrastructure in keeping with local amenity and areas of demand.”

The revocation of the RSS was true at the time of the application and hence the Supporting Information will not be updated.

23. Part 2.3 refers to the need having been demonstrated – the need in this location has not been demonstrated other than by listing some of the factors wind turbines (generically) need?

(A) Section 2.3 of the SI also states “The Development will increase the region‟s renewable energy generation capacity, and the benefits of the Development are exemplified in Chapter 7” hence demonstrating the need for the Development (renewable energy

24. 2.4.6 PPS25 2006 has been superseded.

(A) The flood risk assessment accompanying the Supporting Information has been undertaken in line with the latest version of PPS 25 and concludes that there will be no increase in flood risk as a result of the Development. Furthermore, the Environment Agency, the body responsible for assessing flood risk on planning applications, has no objection to the Development.

PPS 25 (2010), relating to flood risk, still has the same principles set out in the 2006 version, with the alteration that wind turbines are now considered compatible with flood plains.

25. How will the health of the children at Worlaby School be affected?

(A) There are no known health issues associated with wind turbines. Nuisance factors such as shadow flicker and noise have been addressed within the Supporting Information. Therefore, the turbine will not affect the health of the children at Worlaby School.

 26. Some of the images are misleading, the application could benefit from some clear photomontages in colour to demonstrate any visual impact. One viewpoint is from Carr Lane, Bonby and not Carr Lane, Worlaby?

(A) Arcus strongly contest the suggestion that “Some of the images are misleading”. Arcus have undertaken visualisation work for numerous wind farm developments and produce photomontages to the standards set out by Scottish Natural Heritage guidance.

With regard to “the application could benefit from some clear photomontages in colour to demonstrate any visual impact” – Figures 3.5 to 3.11 clearly demonstrate photomontages in colour and are used as a tool to demonstrate how the turbine may look.

All the viewpoints are labelled correctly. The viewpoint is not labelled “Carr Lane, Bonby” as stated in the question but “Bonby Carr Lane Bridge”.

 27. Provide the viewpoints that are missing, the true views from peoples’ houses rather than just across the Carrs from odd points in the village.

(A) Viewpoints are intended to provide a representative clear view of the Development from different types of receptors, including settlements and are taken from publically accessible places. Taking photographs from individual properties is not standard practice and would not provide visualisations representative of the wider settlement.

28. How do you reply to the fear of precedent? If NLC gives permission for one, how can they resist further/incremental applications in the same area with the same characteristics/constraints?

(A) Each planning application is judged on its own merit. Should NLC grant planning permission at Worlaby Carrs, any subsequent application will have to take this consented Development into account when assessing the cumulative impact of the proposed Development, e.g. potential impacts on landscape

29. Is there any intention to power Truelove Farm operations or is it a pure commercial venture of selling power to the grid?

(A) This Development is a commercial development, with electricity being exported to the National Grid

A note from the Chairman of the Parish Council.

Wind Turbine in Worlaby

A good natured Public Meeting was held by the Parish Council early in February to seek the views of residents on the planning application made by Truelove Farms for a wind turbine proposed to the south of the village. Over sixty people attended including some of your Ward Councillors and the representative of Andrew Percy MP. This is an application for an onshore wind turbine with output capacity of up to 330 kilowatts with a total height to blade tip of 66.7m (about 218 feet).

 A list of questions from Worlaby residents had been compiled by the Parish Council and sent to the applicants’ agent for them reply to. These questions and the applicants’ answers were read out at the meeting and a lively debate followed. The meeting concluded with a vote from the floor:

                                                                   Against – 58

                                                                   For – 0

                                                                   Don’t know – 0

 The application ref number is PA/2010/1384 and you can view it or submit comments on line via the North Lincolnshire Council website, www.northlincs.gov.uk and follow the links through Environment and Planning to the online planning register using the application number above.

 The Worlaby website (www.worlaby.org.uk) will be updated to advise on progress with the application, together with the list of Questions and Answers heard at the public meeting and a copy of the Parish Council’s response to the application following that meeting. It is understood that the North Lincolnshire Council Planning Committee will likely be determining the application in early May.