DRAFT MINUTES

 

LEIGH ON MENDIP PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

held on 1st November 2013

 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall

 

 

Councillors Present:  C Cudmore (CC), G Boden (GB), I Barnes (IB)

In attendance:  2 parishioners

 

 

Action

1.0

Apologies

 

1.1

Apologies were received from A Brooks (AB, Clerk), D Mattick (DM), A Dagger (resignation pending) and D Sparkes (DS).

 

 

 

 

1.2

In the absence of the Clerk, GB took the minutes.

 

 

 

 

2.0

Declaration of Interest

 

2.1

None

 

 

 

 

3.0

Planning

 

3.1

Planning Application 2013/1951

Erection of a single wind turbine to 77 metres, along with accompanying access track, crane hard standing, substation, associated underground cabling and temporary construction

Location: Rockhouse Farm, Chantry, Frome, Somerset

Applicant: Mr Peter Hill, g2 Energy Renewable Developments Ltd, 25 Osier Way, Olney Office Park, Olney, Buckinghamshire MK46 5FP

 

There was discussion about the special public meeting held to debate the issue in Leigh on Mendip on Monday 28th October 2013.   Members of the public and councillors from neighbouring parishes had also attended.

 

The Parish Council has received three emails from parishioners relating to this application, 2 opposing and one in support.

 

It was noted that Mendip District Council is conducting an investigation into wind turbines on the Mendips and it was felt that a decision should not be made whilst the outcome of this is unknown.

 

It was noted that the wind turbine proposed for the Bath and West Showground has recently been refused and the reasons in terms of the visual impact apply equally to the Chantry wind turbine.

 

It is considered that the village is “doing its bit” for renewable energy and energy saving by recently approving a solar array and switching off street lights at night .

 

The feeling at the meeting was overwhelmingly against the application.

 

CC proposed and IB seconded to recommend refusal of the planning application for the following reasons:

1.     Visual Impact. The proposed turbine, by reason of its size, height and form would result in a harmfully intrusive visual impact on the character and appearance of the surrounding landscape of the East Mendips. This prominent position is visible from a wide area to the north, east and south as well as local roads and footpaths. The East Mendip Way runs adjacent to the proposed site. The adverse impacts significantly and demonstrably outweigh the public benefits resulting from the proposal including those in relation to renewable energy generation. In this respect it would be contrary to the advice in the National Planning Policy Framework, the Planning Practice Guidance for Renewable and Low Carbon Energy and Saved Policies Q1 and ER2 of the Mendip District Local Plan (December 2002).

2.     Environmental Impact. There is a need for a full environmental impact assessment, not least due to its close proximity to a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Area of Conservation and bat habitats/flight lines.

3.     Local Opinion. Strong opinions against this application have been demonstrated at the September Parish Council meeting, a Public Meeting held on 28th October, emails from parishioners and other informal discussions. Support for the application has been minimal.

4.     Proximity to Heritage Buildings. The proposed turbine would be visible from a number of heritage sites (listed buildings and a conservation area) in the neighbourhood including the Parish Churches of Leigh on Mendip and Downhead.

 

It was unanimously agreed to recommend refusal of the planning application.  CC to submit the recommendation to the MDC Planning Officer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 


 

CC

 

 

 

4.0

Grant for Memorial Hal

 

4.1

The Council considered a request from the Memorial Hall committee for a grant to cover the cost of replacing the worn barrier matting in the foyer.  Cost of renewal £398.   CC proposed that a grant of £398 is awarded, seconded by GB and unanimously agreed. CC to inform the Memorial Hall Committee.

 

 

 

 

CC

 

 

 

5.0

Date & time of next meeting

 

5.1

The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Monday 18th November 2013, at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall.