TCI Renewables Withdraw Tivetshall Turbine Application
It is with great pleasure that TAG is able to report that TCI have confirmed to SNDC Planners their withdrawal of Planning Application 2010/0861 for three 140m high turbines on the outskirts of Tivetshall St Mary, South Norfolk. This is indeed very welcome news following some 5 years of objection to this proposed development.
Of course, we cannot be sure if this is a permanent withdrawal or a tactical move to forestall a potential refusal by SNDC - only time will tell.
TCI have confirmed their intention to progress, following minor modifications to layout, with the re-applications for turbines at Upper Vaunces Farm, Dickleburgh and at Hempnall despite these having been previously refused by SNDC and at subsquent appeals to the Planning Inspectorate.
TAG would like to thank all those who have provided support and assistance over the years to convince developers and SNDC that the selected site was totally unsuited to such a development - hopefully TCI have at last recognised this fact.
TCI about to return to Hempnall
TCIR are about to submit an “amended “planning application for Hempnall despite a previous application for 7 turbines being rejected by SNDC Planning Committee and the Planning Inspectorate at Appeal and local opposition. This “amended” application means 3 or 4 turbines (they have not said yet) instead of the original 7 at the same height 126 metres but this time, wait for it … instead of "Bussey’s Loke" this development is to be called “Streetwood Farm”. Again what part of “NO” do they not understand and just how long do communities have to live with these development "clouds" above their heads which blight the future of the villages affected?
Tivetshall Test Mast Remains in Place
Despite approval for the test mast at Tivetshall St Mary being extended by one further year to be removed on or before 12th January 2013, it remained in place until 13th February 2013. TCI had sent a series of somewhat grovelling apologies to SNDC initially saying their contractors were too busy to remove the mast (twice) and now blaming the extreme weather conditions and snow covered and wet ground conditions and thus fending off enforcement action. If they had arranged to remove the mast BEFORE the 12th January, especially as worsening weather was this time forecast correctly - then they would have been able to comply - but no, that is not TCI's way is it? Even following removal of the mast structure, the ground anchors and some components still remain insitu - with a further promise to remove these by the end of March.
TCI Returns for More at Vaunces Farm
Apparently, TCIR do not understand the word "NO". In January 2013 they have confirmed they are re-submitting their refused application for 3 x 125m high turbines on the same site but with turbines configured into a tighter cluster - and by this means they consider they will overcome the objections put forward by the local community (through 4V) and the reasons for SNDC and the Planning Inspector's refusals. They have no idea!
It only goes to show that with a willing land-owner (West Farms in this instance) they will continue in their endeavours to win approval at whatever cost to reap the significant rewards offered to them by the Government subsidies available - notwithstanding the continued objection of the local community and those officials who administer Planning law and the NPPF. It's time the Government made changes to the NPPF to make clear that LOCALISM does count for something and a refusal at appeal means just that - NO, GO AWAY!
TCI has Upper Vaunces Farm Appeal Refused
The Planning Inspectorate today (15/10/2012) confirmed their refusal of TCI Renewable's appeal against refusal of their application by SNDC for 3 x 125m turbines at Upper Vaunces Farm, Semere Green, Pulham Market / Dickleburgh. Many congratulations are due to the undaunted efforts of "4Villages" Action Group who fought a long hard fight against this unwanted development proposal. No doubt this decision will concentrate the minds of those at TCI relative to similar proposals at Tivetshall St Mary and about to be submitted for Hempnall - Will they never learn?
Full details of the Inspectors' Decision can be found in the attached links:
Vaunces Farm Appeal Decision
Vaunces Farm Cost Decision
TCI requests further extension to Tivetshall Determination Period
Due to the ongoing appeal relative to the Upper Vaunces Farm turbine development proposal also by TCI and within 1½km of the Tivetshall site, TCI have suggested that the determination period for the Tivetshall application be again extended until 31st October 2012 - This to enable the appeal process to conclude before they take further action concerning the Tivetshall application. It is clear that both proposals would conflict as far as cummulative effect is concerned; so it appears their view is to gain approval for one or the other.
SNDC Grants Permission for further 1 year Mast Erection
Despite strong objection from TAG and members of the public, SNDC felt they had little choice but to grant permission for the test mast to remain for a further 12 months. However, they have stipulated that no further extensions will be permitted and that enforcement action will automatically be applied should the mast remain in place beyond the revised removal date of 13th January 2013.
TCI seeks Permission to Extend Test Mast Erection Period to 4 Years
Simultaneously with TAG's application for an enforcement order for the test mast removal after expiry of its 3 year permission, TCI Renewables have applied to SNDC to vary the planning condition granted at appeal to enable the mast to remain in place for a further 1 year (until 13th January 2013). Please refer to SNDC Planning Portal ref 2012/0071 for details.
TCI quote a number of reasons for this extension request including the fact it took Enertrag some 7 weeks to get the mast erected and obtain data following permission granted 12th January 2009 and that the mast alledgedly did not record data for a "significant period" during 2011. Arising from this they say a further period is required to enable at least a full years readings across all seasons - well they already have that from 1st March 2009 when data first flowed to the unknown date in 2011 when recordings mysteriously ceased - almost 2 years of data to our calculation. TAG will of course object to this application for extension and would encourage supporters to do likewise by writing to the SNDC Planning Officer concerned (Mr Tim Barker) quoting planning reference 2012/0071
TCI say that the mast remaining in place will not impact on the landscape or visual amenity of the area, but we would quote the Planning Inspector when reaching his decision to permit erection for a 3 year period when he said....Appeal Decision Para 7.” I consider that a mast with a height of 60m, supported by a network of stays, would be a very substantial structure within this open landscape. In addition, it would be an alien feature in the sense that it would be constructed of manmade materials and would not be a familiar sight in the agricultural countryside”. Para 12 goes on to say……” I conclude that the mast would be a noticeable and alien feature in the landscape, particularly when viewed from Boudicca’s Way. However, bearing in mind the unexceptional quality of the landscape, the lightweight nature of the construction and the fact that the mast would be in place for no longer than three years, I do not consider that significant harm would be caused”.
Would the Inspector of had the same compromise view relative to a 4 year application? We doubt it!
Time for Removal of Test Mast
The erection of a meteorological test mast, requested by Enertrag, was permitted under appeal reference APP/L2630/A/08/2076890 dated 12th January 2009. A Condition of Planning applied by the Appeal Inspector stated that this should be dismantled and cleared from site on or before a period of 3 years from the date of approval which expires today, 12th January 2012. Predicably, there is no evidence on site of this being actioned and TAG has therefore contacted SNDC Planning Department requesting immediate Enforcement action to seek immediate removal.
Enertrag appoints TCI Renewables as agent for Tivetshall planning application
It was announced at the end of November 2011 that Enertrag (UK) Ltd (also known as Diss Investments Limited) had appointed TCI Renewables as their agent to continue with all matters relating to the planning application for 3 wind turbines at Tivetshall St Mary, South Norfolk. It is not currently known if they would go on to construct the development should their application be successful or whether Enertrag would then return.
TCI had also recently purchased the rights from Enertrag to develope the proposed wind turbine application on land at Hempnall, also South Norfolk for which Enertrag had previously been refused permission by SNDC and also by the Planning Inspector at subsequent appeal.
TCI are also the developer of the Vaunces Farm development proposal at Semere Green / Dickleburgh which was also refused permission by SNDC but is still the subject of an appeal which was suspended after running out of time during late summer 2011 and is now to be reconvened on 26th and 27th April 2012.
So, it is good bye to Enertrag - for good we hope. However, the battle to preserve the countryside and facilities of South Norfolk enjoyed by the local community is ongoing and TAG will be pressing hard for the Tivetshall proposal to be refused and hopefully join 4V and SHOWT, action groups opposing the Vaunces Farm and Hempnall proposals respectively, in their previous sucesses in this regard.
When will these developers learn that they are not wanted within South Norfolk and that their plans to disrupt our everyday lives is unwelcome?
Government On-line Petition
Wherever you live in Norfolk (or elsewhere for that matter) please take the time to enter your name on this Government on-line petition which states "We do not want any more onshore wind turbines in Norfolk, or elsewhere in the UK".
To add your name to this list click http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk
Still no News of SNDC Decision on Enertrag's Tivetshall Application
We still have nothing to report unfortunately as to South Norfolk District Council's determination of Enertrag's application for development at Tivetshall. As noted elsewhere this application decision has been long awaited by the local population represented by TAG, who consider our arguements against this development are sufficient to justify rejection, endorced by consultee objections from English Heritage relative to undue affect upon St Mary Church ruin; a Grade II* listed structure.
Weather Records for Tivetshall St Mary
Since the beginning of 2011, TAG has been recording weather conditions in the Tivetshall St Mary area with equipment positioned just 1000m from the proposed turbine development site. Instruments record at intervals of 30 minutes wind speed measured in meters per second (m/s) and wind direction. We also have continuous records of wind speed gusts and temperature.
TAG have issued these periodically to South Norfolk Planners to keep them aware of the findings of low wind speed averaings in the region at 3m/s instead of 5m/s which is understood to be a minimum for basic turbine efficiency. It is clear to us therefore that the turbines proposed by Enertrag will not perform efficiently for the production of renewable energy. These records also confirm the reported fact that the lower the outside temperature, the lower the wind-speed - precisely when there is most energy demand for heating etc. As reported repeatidly in the national press it is the traditional gas or coal power stations that need to be kept on standby so that they can be brought on line to provide the electricity demand required - and obviously continue to feed CO2 into our atmosphere. So much for "renewable" energy by way of wind power and all at an excessive cost to electricity consumers and tax-payers who subsidize the developers to the tune of billions of pound.
We have made the data recorded during the period 01/01/2011 until early June 2011 and this can be seen via the following links:
Wind Speed Graph
Table of wind speed & gust and outside temperature
EDP Article Saturday 5th March 2011
An article was published by the Eastern Daily Press (EDP) following an interview with Enertrag (UK) Managing Director, Mr Neil Lindsay during which it was confirmed that Enertrag are reviewing their ongoing operations within South Norfolk......................
A renewable energy company revealed it was reviewing the future of its Norfolk operations after blaming a lack of “political support” for onshore wind farm applications. Diss is one of two locations in Britain for German-owned Enertrag, but it has failed to get permission for a single turbine locally since it moved to south Norfolk. Its managing director yesterday confirmed that the firm had launched a review of its operations in the area as a result of its lack of success.
The wind energy company has had proposals for seven 125m-high wind turbines refused by South Norfolk Council and a planning inspector on appeal and has submitted scaled down plans at Tivetshall St Mary from six to three following local objections. Neil Lindsay, managing director of Enertrag, said the company was reviewing its investment strategy and accused South Norfolk Council and South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon of being “anti-wind energy” and siding with the “minority”. “We are reviewing our operations in that neck of the woods. We have not had the political support, which is very disappointing. We have been in south Norfolk for six or seven years and every time we put in an application the councillors are completely anti-wind energy,” he said.
Mr Lindsay added that Norfolk was falling behind government renewable energy targets and on average only 10 to 15pc of residents were against onshore turbines. Enertrag employs five people at its Diss office. “Like any company, we invest our money and resources in areas where we get the most success and we continue to develop projects throughout the UK and will look at Norfolk, but we will only do it if there is the political will,” he said.
John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council, said it was “sad” that Enertrag could close its Diss operation, but the authority had approved one application and rejected two from turbine companies. “Wind turbine applications are very contentious and bring out strong views on both sides and we have taken a measured approach. The council has judged them on their merits,” he said.
South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon said he was in favour of alternative energy sources, but “the rural landscape of south Norfolk is not the place for industrial machines. If they [Enertrag] have come to the conclusion that this is the wrong place for wind turbines then that is jolly good news,” he said.
TAG have writen to the EDP letters page confirming that local opposition at Tivetshall is 60% within a 2km radius of the development site and at Hemnall opposition is at a level of some 90% - hardly a minority as stated by Mr Lindsay!
Looks like there was something in this afterall as Enertrag (UK) Ltd., have recently sold on their interest in the proposed Hempnall turbine development to TCI Renewables, who await the outcome of their own development at Semere Green, Dickleburgh which is the subject of a long outstanding appeal process, currently in recess.
Another extreamly cold spell in winter 2010 / 2011 and again, no wind.
Just as last year, the winter of 2010 - 2011 has again been extreamly cold across the UK, and guess what? The wind didn't blow again. How long will it take for the Government, developers and the UK populus to recognise that turbines do not produce sufficient levels of renewable energy in such low pressure circumstances during which we are all dependant upon coal or gas or nuclear means of providing that demand necessary? It goes to emphasis again that developers push for these renewables only for the significant subsidies that are available to them through the ROC's scheme - money that we the tax payer / consumer provides. Recent publications by the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF) confirms statistics generally available from industry sources that actual output of just 21% of each turbines "rated" output are commonly achieved. So with a turbine for example "rated" at 2MW this is lucky to contribute just 0.42KW to the National Grid for consumer use. Hardly a worthy technology upon which the British Government continues to invest £billions in subsidy which finds its way of course onto our electricity bills each quarter.
Further Information requested from Enertrag by SNDC
SNDC planners in September 2010 requested further detailed information from Enertrag under Regulation 19 to complete missing or inadequate EIA information previously provided. It has had the effect that in February 2011 Enertrag have written to SNDC calling for / agreeing an extension to the period of SNDC's consideration of this application until 30th April 2011. At last, as at 2nd March 2011 (uploaded to SNDC website 11.03/11) Enertrag UK Ltd., provided what they considered a response to this missing information. Those that have responded within the further consultation period arising consider this still to be lacking and in most part simply repeats disputed claimes previously made within their EIA. SNDC are still receiving and logging consultee letters letters until the date of their planner's recommendation report to committee - so please write; it's still not too late.