Bradshaw turbine – appeal refused

The latest in the string of appeals regarding turbine applications in the Bolton area, has been rejected.  The planning inspectorate has consistently backed Bolton Planning committee in upholding the rights of residents.

The current decsions (which can be found 2209440 DECISION )  goes one step further and highlights an issued raised in so many of the applications

16 . However, as I have set out above another wind turbine has planning permission nearby, which could be constructed. The appellant’s noise assessment does not take account of the potential combined effect of the 2 wind turbines operating at the same time. Without this information it is not possible to determine whether the proposal would result in unacceptable cumulative noise levels for local residents. Moreover, this matter cannot be dealt with by planning conditions because it is not clear whether the
recommended noise levels could be met. Consequently, such an approach would conflict with the advice on planning conditions in the PPG. In the absence of this information the proposal would conflict with the advice in ETSUR- 97 and this weighs heavily against the proposal

Similarly the comment  “Whether the harm by reason of inappropriateness, and any other harm, is clearly outweighed by other considerations, so as to amount to the very special circumstances necessary to justify the development” must send a clear message to planning committee members that a new property simply  being of exceptional design cannot possibly meet this requirement -it just minimises the harm.


Birches farm turbine refused – monster on the moors

“There are not exceptional circumstances for this development, so it’s a lump of steel in the green belt.”

– 132 (genuine local) objections as well as three local MPs and five councillors, against 300 letters in support – how much has this cost the Bolton council tax payer – again !!!!!

The application is refused by a majority with Cllr Peel – who once seemed to liken the situation to a football match,  stating that such an important local issue should be dealt with on a national basis – so much for local democracy. The score now 8-0 ?

Whilst there is a national energy issue, there is no need to sacrifice the legal rights of constituents, in order to try to resolve it.

All the applications , which have been refused by planning committee have gone to appeal – and the planning inspector has upheld the original decision of the planning committee  in 100% of cases. .

The turbine debate has been unpleasant and costly  in Bolton , for applicants, councillors, planning officers and residents. No doubt this refusal will go to appeal. Thus far the legal position has been clearly in the favour of residents, and the preservation of our greenbelt, rather than applicants.

The green belt is special and it is important that it is preserved -a few groups around Bolton have helped ensure its future – at least for a little while longer – these groups are extremely grateful for the support of the majority of councillors from all sides.


Birch Farm Appeal Withdrawn (update 2)

Birch Farm turbine appeal has now been withdrawn.

A new application, for the removal of two smaller turbines and erection of a 67 meter turbine has now been received.

This will now be considered at planning committee  06 March. The planning officer is reccomending refusal

At this time residents groups, including BHEAG, have been fully supported by Bolton Planning Commitee and not a single turbine  decision has been over turned by the inspectorate.


Douglas Valley Turbine Appeal – Dismissed

The appeal has been dismissed due to the harm to the outlook of neighbours and also the harm to the greenbelt
“However, the Written Ministerial Statement of 10 October 2013 makes the
point that the need for renewable energy does not automatically override
environmental protection and stresses that sufficient weight should be given to
environmental considerations such as local amenity. In this instance I give
substantial weight to the harm that the proposed turbine would cause to the
outlook of neighbouring residents. I also give substantial weight to the harm
that the proposed turbine would cause to the Green Belt by reason of its
inappropriateness and to the harm, albeit slight, that it would cause to
The decision can be found here

Bye bye 2013

As we leave 2013 behind us the appeal for the Douglas Valley turbine has not yet been decided and Armstrong’s have suffered yet another fire at the Horwich recycling plant

Over the other-side the Birches farm appeal has yet to be considered, with both the applicant and Bolton council objecting to the way the appeal has been handled. The Bury MP – David Nuttall has written to the secretary of state with concerns in the opposite direction – highlighting residents concerns and as a result the application has been called in, to be determined by the Secretary of State. For good measure the applicant has submitted a new application for an even larger turbine, proposing to dismantle the two already present.

Over at Slack lane the applicant has requested an application called in and determined by the Secretary of State- which seems rather strange as the required information to determine the application was clearly not present – unless the strategy was to prevent community involvement – which also seems strange  as the secretary of state has emphasised the important of this.

The focus on off shore wind farm was then dealt a massive blow as  billions of pounds of investment are shelved and two power houses reduce their plans for off shore wind farms due to “market conditions”  as  Ed Milliband proposes to freeze energy bills for 20 months – which seems to mean that market forces and exchange rates will be ignored or there needs to be a massive price increase to provide for the contingency.

Biofuelwatch have issued a new report on the devastation being caused by the UK policy on commercial biomass  –Biomass – The chain of destruction

UK companies have now announced plans to burn 82 million tonnes of biomass (mainly wood ) in power stations each year – more than 8 times the UK’s annual wood production. – the UK already relies on 80% net wood imports. the land grab in Brazil for eucalyptus plantings  is resulting in the loss of forest eco systems.

Meanwhile 2Oc have signed a 20 year deal with Thames water – worth over £200M  and construction has started on the  CHP plant at Beckton

One thing is clear – the lights in the UK will go out in the next few years and the country is desperate for more generation capacity.  It is important that renewable energy, championed by the government, is not confused with sustainable energy. It is important that the implications of  loss of forest and land for  crops and food in order to grow fuel crops is considered.   It is equally important that there is an open debate about how we fuel the future – as the UK closes it coal plants -or converts them to forest destroying biomass plants it is estimated coal will not make a contribution to UK energy supply by 2030 –  This year it is estimated china burned 4 billion tonnes (that is 4,000,000,000 tonnes – )of coal   – realising about 70% of China’s power production. In the USA the figure is 35%.

– and then we import their products due to cheaper  production costs – what price our Planet ?

Happy New Year




Chadwick turbine appeal withdrawn

Just a few days after BHEAG was granted Rule 6 status, in the appeal , the appelants have withdrawn the appeal.

It is believed the reason for this is that the  turbines were simply to close to residential property – something we believe is reinforced by the recent planning guidance for renewable energy. The inspector specifically requested the various parties to consider the implications of the document.







Chadwick Appeal BHEAG awarded rule 6 status

For the second time in recent years – BHEAG has been granted rule six status at an appeal.

The main benefit is that BHEAG now have the same status as the other parties, and receive all the evidence before the inquiry beings. At the inquiry BHEAG can act as an advocate, cross-examine the other parties, as well as giving evidence-in-chief put witnesses up to support the  case. Rule 6 party is relatively uncommon – in no small part due to the massive workload.

In this way it ensures residents who are directly affected can have there concerns raised through the group and can in some way feel more equally represented – after all the applicants have their agent and legal representation and similarly the Council. At the previous inquiry where BHEAG were granted rule 6 , it enabled the inspector to ask some rather pertinent questions resulting in regulation 19 requests (ie there had been insufficient data to consider the application and ensure that the rights of the general public and residents were not compromised)




Douglas Valley Appeal

The Douglas Valley appeal -informal hearing went into a second day.

Having considered oral evidence and concerns from members of the public – the inspector ensured that each concern was considered on the site visits – which spanned the two days.

The site visits were aided by a blue flag on a 12m pole., at the location of the turbine. The inspector  appeared to concur that from Nightingale Road – the hub would be about level with the motorway and that the blades would “certainly” be  seen above the motorway.

The inspector also took time to visit the area at night – to see the effect of the floodlights. Despite the fact that the halogens were turned off and only five of the sodium lights were working, causing the area to be dimmer than is often the case, the inspector confirmed that from the Anderton side of the valley / Greenlands farm the turbine would be seen in-front of the flood lights.

The location and the height of the turbine,calculated from multiples of the flag pole,  seen from the Anderton side of the valley became a lot clearer, similarly the view from Chorley Road.

It is hoped that the final decision will be available before Christmas.

Meanwhile – on the other side of Bolton – the Birches Farm application has been called in by the Secretary of State – who issued new guidance in recent months that public opinion needed to be given weight in any decision process – criterion which will also apply to the appeal.






Douglas Valley Hearing

The Hearing for this appeal will start at 10.00, on Wednesday 13 November 2013 at the Lancaster Suite, Bolton Town Hall, Victoria Square, Bolton, BL1 1SA
The public  are welcome to attend.
The time of the Site Visit will be arranged at the Hearing.

Planning Guidance for renewable and low carbon energy.

New guidance has been published which can be a materiual consideration in considering planning applications (and appeals) for renewable energy.

The document supports many of the points which have been made by BHEAG during various applications and appeals

The document can be found Planning Practice Guidance for Renewable and Low Carbon Energy

Chadwicks – hearing cancelled for full Public Inquiry

Following in the tracks of the Birch Farm appeal, which was deferred for a full public inquiry last week. The inspector has concluded that the  appeal for three turbines at Chadwick’s farm, which was to be heard by public hearing tomorrow must be cancelled and will be considered by means of a full public inquiry.

This was the  view of BHEAG in our letter to the inspectorate in 19 July ax Planning appeal 2187870 – 2c

The same arguments would appear to apply to the Douglas Valley appeal.




Birch Farm Turbine Appeal UPDATE – full Public Inquiry

The Birch Farm Turbine appeal is Thursday 25 July, at Bolton Town Hall – starting at 10-30 am

The following Tuesday – 30 July  the Chadwick Farm appeal will be considered, again at Bolton Town Hall – with a reduction to two turbine looking a possibility

Meanwhile any adddtional submissions for the Douglas Valley Golf Course turbine appeal need to be submitted by Friday 02 August


Towards the end of this month Eric Pickles is likely to announce a new NPPF  – believed to include the need for greater public consultation – including ensuring all relevant documents are available to the general public -in a timely manner.


The appeal at Birches Farm has been changed to a full inquiry. New evidence was submitted during the appeal which was not able to be fully considered by all interested parties



Douglas Valley – turbine appeal

Application 88876/12 will be considered at appeal. The appeal will be determined on the basis of a hearing.

Comments, modification or withdrawal of previous comments must be made by 02 August 2013

All correspondence must quote the appeal reference APP/N4205/A/13/2199108

This can be done by emailing , on the planning portal or otherwise in writing (three copies to be supplied )


Ms P Dun

The Planning Inspectorate

Room 3/10 Wing

Temple Quay House

2 The Square



Procedures for informal hearings  (  -part of CPRE – The Campaign to Protect Rural England)

If the decision is made to conduct the appeal through an informal hearing, the local authority will notify all parties with an interest in the application.

The authority will also supply everyone with a copy of the rules and procedures of an informal hearing, as devised by the Planning Inspectorate.

  • The hearing should take place within 12 weeks of the appeal request.
  • As an interested party, you will be given at least 28 days’ notice of it taking place.

The applicant and the local authority must provide a statement of their case to the inspector and all principal parties at least three weeks before the hearing.

As a third party, you also have the right to provide a written statement.

Ask to receive copies of all other parties’ documents.


Informal hearings are usually run as a discussion led by the inspector, in which members of the public can ask questions and put forward their points of view. Lawyers are rarely present.

A hearing often involves an inspector’s site visit. When this happens, you have a good opportunity to expand on your case and to demonstrate the depth of local feeling.


Plodder Lane Turbine Application Withdrawn – but new submission likely

The Plodder  Lane turbine applications have been withdrawn – however new application is to be submitted,  likely moving the turbines due East and further from the footpath and residential properties of Plodder Lane. Some form of screening may also be introduced.  A shadow flicker report will also be commissioned.

Meanwhile a new hearing date for Birches farm turbine has been advised as Thursday 25 July 2013.

It appears a new noise survey has been completed for the  Chadwick Farm Turbines – which are also at appeal – however the necessary data has not been released to the public and clarification has been sought from the planning inspector. The appeal will be considered Tuesday 30 July 2013



Plodder Lane Turbines to be Refused ?

Documents made available on Bolton Council’s Planning Portal suggest that at the present time there are three reasons why planning officers would recommend for refusal the Plodder Lane Turbine. The officer is currently proposing that the existing application be withdrawn and potentially a new application submitted.

Reasons for refusal include proximity to Public footpath and residential property.  Bizarrely the applicant is suggesting tree screening- which will further reduce efficiency and at least in part diminish the special circumstances required for a development in – or visible from – the green belt.

Given the stress and anguish to both residents and applicants surely it must be in everyone’s interests at this time that at least some form of guidelines are published by Bolton Council – as repeatedly requested by elected members.


In the mean time it is now understood that the Douglas Valley Turbine appeal will be considered by means of an informal hearing rather than a written appeal.

There are now two turbines proposed in the Bradshaw area – a 45m turbine off Slack Lane and a 34.5m or46.3m to blade tip at  Top height Farm, Affetside – depending on whether you believe  the design and access statement or the plan.

The Bradshaw application finds Bolton planning officers  requesting more information on cumulative impact, visual and noise analysis – in line with  submissions from BHEAG and other residents groups on previous applications – perhaps in part due to the massive amount of legal submissions regarding the Birch Farm appeal , in the same area.

Whilst planning inspectors have consistently supported elected members in refusal for the various turbines – there remains a risk that even if appeals were upheld that any such decision could be over turned by judicial review if appropriate procedures have not been followed – this is part of the driver to go to hearing rather than written appeals.