BT’s planning application for a wind turbine at Fanny House farm Heysham as part of their Wind for Change programme has been APPROVED. They plan to build a single 110m 2MW turbine behind the Windermere Park estate, on Heysham Moss.
The application was approved by a vote with 12 Conservative, Green & Labour councillors voting FOR and 3 Independent councillors voting AGAINST.
|The turbine is to be sited approximately 1.2km from the Windermere Park estate behind the Heysham Moss ridge and is on the opposite side of the A683 to the 3 wind turbines by Banks Rewewables (11/00689/FUL).
Read BT’s Non-Technical Summary.
You can view the full planning application on the Lancaster City Council’s planning website (11/00073/FUL)
The decision on the application was taken at the Planning Committee Monday, 19th September 2011 10.30 a.m.
Whilst this project goes some way to meeting national and regional targets for renewable energy, it does very little to improve the economic situation in the Heysham and Morecambe area, with the profits from the energy production being moved out of the region.
I would like to see BT adding material benefit to the local community.
Banks Renewables are creating a 10k community fund, surely BT could do something similar?
My statement to Planning
I spoke at the Planning Committee, quoting PPS22 (Points 11 & 21) stating that the Banks Renewables wind turbine and the BT application should be looked at together in relation to their culmulative effect and that BT should equal Banks Renewables “community benefit” to clearly outweigh any negative impact with clear economic benefits.
My argument that this application should be looked in terms of it’s culmulative effects was accepted, however as BT’s previously withdrawn application was not rejected on economic grounds this was not justification for rejection or deferment.
My comment to Planning
I wish to comment NEUTRALLY on the BT Wind Turbine Application.
My request to the Planning Committee is to DEFER the planning decision until BT have come back with a material benefit for the local
Given BT’s position in the telecommunications industry a material benefit could easily be sought for local people by the council.
Material Benefit examples :-
* Upgrade of the Heysham Telephone exchange to include SDSL, FTTC, FTTP/Ethernet (To Heysham & Middleton Industrial Estates)
* Free Telephone line rental (within X kilometres)
* Free Broadband access (within X kilometres)
* Free IPTV (BT Vision) – To mitigate any Television reception interference
* Donation of BT staff PCs to a local community project
* Setup of a Community Fund (Similar to Banks Renewables application)
Each of these material benefits would boost the local economy, for example FTTP would be a significant attractant to new investment.
If the Committee chooses to approve without material benefit then it is failing in it’s duty to act in the best interests of local
residents and not using it’s influence to bring inward investment.
I emailed the Wind of Change team at BT to enquire what community benefits they are planning on giving to the people of Heysham South…… I am yet to hear back from them
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