Background Info

This petition is being raised to question the acceptability of the current 20m neighbour notification distance for turbine planning applications.

Neighbour notifications are the responsibility of the planning authority and not the applicant. Neighbours are defined as land within 20 metres of a development site. Notification will include details of what the proposal is, will explain how comments can be made on it and will include a location plan. Depending on the Local Authority, neighbours have between 14 and 21 days to comment on the application . Where there are no properties or buildings located on neighbouring land, the Council will arrange to place an advert in a local newspaper, the cost of which has to be met by the applicant.

In urban areas, there are usually many properties within 20m of an application site which will receive neighbour notification, allowing for details of the proposal to be spread by word of mouth. In rural locations, there are often no properties within 20m of the application site, therefore few or no neighbours are notified directly.

Current planning legislation allows an application for wind turbines of any size, to be lodged at any distance beyond 20m from a neighbour’s boundary without any neighbour notification to those people most affected, thereby potentially denying them the right to make representation. The following points should be noted;

1. Not everyone has access to a computer to check on-line planning applications on their local authority's website.
2. Not everyone has the ability to visit their local library to check planning applications.
3. Not everyone buys their local newspaper where planning applications should be advertised.
4. Those living on or close to a neighbouring local authority’s boundary are generally unaware of another Council’s procedures and local papers advertising planning applications are not always easily available.

We propose that any residential or other property within a distance of ten times the height of the turbine (to blade tip) from the proposed development site, should receive notification of the planning application whether it is for a single or multiple turbine development.

This could be financed by increasing the planning application fee and would put no extra burden on the local authority or local Council taxpayers.

The reason for this Petition is to allow more members of the public to become involved in theplanning system and contribute their local knowledge to a type of development which could affect not only their property, the environment in which they live but also their quality of life through noise and visual blight for more than 25 years, which is the anticipated lifespan of a wind turbine.

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