Council Invites Views On Guidance For Small Wind Turbines
21st August 2012
The Highland Council has prepared planning guidance for Small-Scale Wind Turbine Proposals and is asking for people's views on it.
From tomorrow (23rd August) the draft guidance is available to view on the website www.highland.gov.uk and in local Highland Council Libraries, Service Points and at Council Headquarters in Inverness. The consultation runs until 4th October 2012.
The Council is supportive of appropriate renewable energy developments, including micro and small-scale schemes. The Highland Renewable Energy Strategy sets out this broad support and recognises the potential for different types and scales of scheme to contribute to meeting energy needs.
There has been growing interest in recent years from people wishing to submit small-scale wind turbines proposals in Highland - defined by the guidance as being proposals for no more than 3 turbines in any one array and where the hub height of the turbine(s) is below 30m. People and businesses desire 'green energy', to meet their own energy needs and/or to supplement their income by selling electricity back to the national grid.
The guidance explains about different types of application that may be required and sets out minimum requirements for information to be submitted to the Council with applications. This includes advice on visual assessment and the consideration of noise issues. It also refers to key issues such as impacts on amenity, on other developments planned in the area and on landscape, including cumulative impacts.
Councillor Thomas Prag, Chairman of the Planning, Environment and Development Committee, said: "The council supports the principle of renewables - including wind energy. Small scale turbines are part of that, but they can cause quite a bit of controversy locally, so we need a consistent approach to judge each application on its merits. This draft guidance aims to set out the framework on which each decision will be based. So it's really important that we get feedback on it from the public, organisations and the renewables industry."
Comments on the guidance should be sent to the Council in writing, either by email to devplans[AT]highland.gov.uk or by post to Development Plans Team, The Highland Council, Council Offices, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, IV3 5NX, to arrive no later than 4th October 2012.
Anyone wishing further information or a paper copy of the document should telephone 01463 702259 or email devplans[AT]highland.gov.uk
People submitting building standards applications to The Highland Council will benefit from a major new improvement to the Council's digital services that will be on offer from Wednesday 24 August. The eBuilding Standards Service will allow customers to submit all Building Standards applications to Highland Council electronically in the same way customers can already make planning applications electronically using ePlanning.
Members of The Highland Council's Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee have agreed to adopt the Onshore Wind Energy Supplementary Guidance as statutory supplementary guidance to the Highland-wide Local Development Plan. This means that from today the Guidance will be used as material consideration in any applications and will have full weight in the planning process as part of the Development Plan once Scottish Ministers have given it their final scrutiny.
The timetable for the election for the return of a councillor for the Culloden and Ardersier ward of The Highland Council has been announced today (Thursday 17 August) The by-election is being held following the sad death of Councillor John Ford. He was one of four Councillors representing Ward 18 which has an electorate of 9,137.
Grass cutting in Skye and Lochalsh is to be brought in house from next year and the Council is to carry out an options appraisal to allow members to decide how future grass cutting will be carried out in the rest of the Highlands. Grass cutting and burial ground maintenance forms part of the Council's Amenity Services which also includes war memorial maintenance, management of public conveniences, play park maintenance and burial and cremation services.
Leader of Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson, has asked the Chief Executive for an overview of the delivery of education capital projects, to see where further improvements can be made and any problems can be avoided. Cllr Davidson said: "During the past year we have learnt many lessons from previous projects and this has led to many improvements in project management and better reporting to elected members.
The Inspector of Crematoria Scotland has described Inverness Crematorium as being well run by staff who display a caring and professional approach to their duties. The comments come following a recent inspection focussing on the issues raised following some national high profile investigations and enquiries into the inappropriate scattering of ashes in other areas.
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Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Margaret Davidson is supporting calls for the reintroduction of an Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) for waters around the west of Scotland and the Western Isles. Cllr Davidson said: "I strongly support the calls from our colleagues in the Western Isles who have to deal with the serious consequences of having an oil rig threaten their coastline.
From 5th September householders who wish to take their waste to Wick Recycling Centre in a van, pickup truck, sign written vehicle and/or a trailer will be required to complete a Household Waste Declaration form before visiting the site or face being turned away. The move, approved by the Community Services Committee, aims to improve the operation of Recycling Centres by eliminating illegal practice from commercial operators, increasing recycling and improving skip availability at peak times for householders.
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