The planning applications page for Draycott makes interesting reading this week.
The very newest application is one for the erection of a wind turbine in the very south of Draycott’s area, almost down to Hilderstone, at New Buildings Farm. (See: New Buildings Farm application).
Wind turbines generate electricity, and are part of the drive in this country to produce at least 15% of the nation’s energy through ‘renewable sources’. Local councils have a compulsory duty to consider developments that combat climate change by reducing carbon emissions.
That doesn’t mean they aren’t controversial!
As many of us will know, a recent application for a giant turbine (130 metres high) at nearby Checkley was turned down; and there’s concern now from residents near Uttoxeter about an application for a 78 metre high one at Spath.
Some people think they look lovely – like big white windmills -, and some people think they are eyesores on the landscape.
The one proposed for New Buildings Farm is small by comparison with the one at Uttoxeter – it’s 40 metres (132 feet) to the tip.
The farm is out in the wilds, on the stretch between Cresswell and Hilderstone, on a ridge looking down on to Bromley Wood. (See: Google map)
The farm has the New Buildings Dog Kennels within its site – and a public footpath/track – but there are very few houses nearby.
Conservationists will want to look at any impact on the local landscape though.
By coincidence (perhaps?) this application comes just weeks after Staffordshire County Council published its policy guidelines on what sort of wind turbine developments it is more likely to allow.
In fact, the New Buildings Farm application falls within these county council guidelines – being small enough and (possibly) non-disruptive enough. Actually, a similar application (for a wind turbine in Rudyard) was approved just last month.
Comment on the application
So, it looks like this turbine falls within the planning guidelines for ‘more acceptable’ applications – but it still has to get formal approval even so.
The next stage is that Draycott-in-the-Moors Parish council will discuss it. If you have views that you’d like the parish council to know of, you can go to the November parish council meeting and speak in the open-participation slot. As of the date of the writing of this article, the PC had not received the application, but you can still have a say if you wish.
We have already heard from some environmentalists who strongly support the idea of wind turbines in remoter spots such as this one, and who say they will be expressing their support for it.
Also, online comments are welcomed in the Comments section of the relevant Staffordshire Moorlands planning application page.
Or – you can comment too on the local VVSM Residents’ Group website. VVSM takes an active interest in planning developments in Draycott.
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council’s policy on Climate Change and Renewable Energy
New Buildings Farm Wind Turbine Application
Staffordshire County Council policy statement on large scale wind energy