RPS has recently obtained planning permission on behalf of Infinergy Ltd for the five turbine Burton Wold South wind farm extension which was unanimously approved by Kettering Borough Council.
RPS was commissioned to advise on the prospects of a successful extension to the ten turbine (20MW) Burton Wold wind farm which is south east of Kettering in Northamptonshire and has operated since 2006. The proposed turbines will be 100m high to blade tip and have a total maximum generating capacity of 11.5MW – meaning the wind farm as a whole could supply the needs of more than 6,000 households, and meet up to 6.6% of the Government’s 2020 renewable energy target.
The RPS team project-managed and prepared the environmental statement, assessing the proposal’s possible impacts respecting:
- Access and traffic
- Landscape and visual impact
- Historic environment
- Ecology and ornithology
- Socio economics and recreation
- Agriculture and soils
- Shadow flicker
This included the submission of a scoping opinion to Kettering Borough Council and liaison with various statutory consultees including English Heritage, Natural England, aviation bodies and the Ministry of Defence to address potential issues concerning environmental and heritage protection, and possible conflicts with wildlife, and aircraft.
RPS also prepared a planning support statement, design and access statement and submitted the planning application, as well as working with the planning officers and consultees. Ultimately there were no objections from the statutory technical consultees. The local town council supported the proposals, with 21 out of 25 letters received from local residents being in support.
In their report to the planning committee the planning officer found the scheme had no unacceptable effects and that moreover there is a "very strong development plan policy in support" In addition, "the weight of material considerations including national policy advice on renewable energy adds further strong support."
Infinergy representative, Charles Sandham said "In the Midlands, Kettering leads the way in green electricity generation which is something to be proud of and indeed celebrate. We are looking to maximise local benefit by using local construction contractors as much as we can and by committing to a Community Benefit Fund…over 25 years, the lifetime of the project.”
The turbines are set to be fully commissioned by the end of 2014. This is the second time that RPS has obtained planning permission on behalf of Infinergy for a wind farm in Northamptonshire, having previously secured planning permission for the seven turbine New Albion wind farm near Corby.