June 23, 2011 | Moor House News
An appeal has been submitted by a north east developer against the decision made by Darlington Borough Council to reject its plans for a new wind farm to the north east of the town.
County Durham firm Banks Renewables, part of The Banks Group, put forward plans for the ten turbine Moor House scheme, which would be sited on land to the north east of Barmpton, around three miles to the east of the A1.
Although recommended for approval by the council’s planning officers, the first proposal was rejected by its planning committee in November last year, primarily on the grounds of the scheme’s visual impact.
In March this year, Banks submitted a revised proposal for a six-turbine scheme which covers a smaller area of the site and which addresses the design concerns expressed by the planning committee, but no determination has yet been given on it.
The proximity of the deadline for appealing against the rejection of the original scheme has meant that Banks has now had to submit this appeal, though the company is hoping to avoid a public enquiry by securing approval for the smaller scheme.
The revised Moor House proposal, which is a kilometre away from Barmpton, is broadly in line with an independent report compiled by consulting engineers Arup into the capacity of the local landscape for this sort of development, with the maximum tip height of the proposed turbines increased from 110m to 125m to maximise the amount of renewable energy that the reduced scheme can produce.
Phil Dyke, development director of Banks Renewables, says: “Our professional planning view has always been that the original Moor House scheme is still wholly suitable for this location, but we appreciated the concerns raised by some local residents during the public consultation process we carried out and did our best to mitigate them with the second, smaller proposal.
“Having not been able to move this new proposal forward over the past three months, we’ve had to submit this appeal against the rejection of the original scheme to ensure we stayed within the planning guidelines.
“We very much hope that we can make progress on this proposal in the near future, and will continue to work closely with Darlington Borough Council to provide a development which is acceptable to all parties and which will have a significant impact on the area’s capacity to meet its renewable energy generation targets.”