The recent refusal of a single-turbine application illustrates why tactics have become so important in securing planning permission.

The single turbine at Woodbank Farm had been designed so it would fit with a proposed neighbouring turbine group at Earlseat. The Woodbank application was to be determined by a planning officer, but the applicant applied to Fife Council’s local review body in May when the officer failed to determine the application. The local review body then failed to determine the application with the allotted two months, and in August, the applicant appealed to the reporter.

However before the reporter could determine the Woodbank appeal, the Council determined the Earlseat application. Permission was granted with a condition requiring relocation of the turbine nearest the proposed Woodbank site. As a consequence, the reporter in the Woodbank appeal could have no certainty from the information before him that the cumulative visual impact of Woodbank and Earlseat would be acceptable. As a consequence he refused Woodbank.

If the Woodbank developer had not gone to the local review body, it appears likely the Woodbank application would have been determined by the Council at the same time as the Earlseat application. It’s possible that the developer might now have permission.

Renewable Energy