Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting NORTHERN ECHO to 80360 or email us
Decision due on Sadberge wind farm proposal
COUNCILLORS have been advised to recommend approval for an application to remove a planning condition on a wind farm that would protect residents from unacceptable levels of noise.
Banks Renewables has applied to Darlington Borough Council to remove a planning condition for a six-turbine wind farm development at Moor House, near Sadberge.
The application is to remove a condition on the prevention and monitoring of excess amplitude modulation (EAM), a rare noise side effect of some wind farms which can cause sleep deprivation and cause annoyance to nearby residents.
The company argues the planning condition is unnecessary as there is no legal definition of EAM or how to prevent it, and believe its Environmental Management Plan (EMP) would protect residents should EAM occur.
It also states it is highly unlikely that EAM would be an issue at the proposed development.
Work has yet to start on the wind farm, which was granted planning permission in 2011.
The council has received 13 letters of objection, as well as 85 pro forma notes signed by 145 individuals and both Sadberge and Bishopton parish councils have objected to the removal of the condition as it protects residents from noise nuisance caused by EAM.
Villagers living nearby have been fighting the condition as they believe that just because the cause of EAM is not fully understood, it should not mean the removal of the condition is acceptable.
Sadberge Parish Council also argues the EMP is vague and cannot be properly enforced, and members do not trust Banks Renewables to carry out best practice in the interests of residents affected by EAM.
The application has been recommended for approval by the council’s planning officers ahead of a meeting on Wednesday in Darlington town hall at 2pm.
The report states the occurrences of EAM are rare and may not be a feature at the Moor House site and while not a perfect solution, the statutory nuisance regime would be the most appropriate way of dealing with a complaint about suspected EAM should it arise.
A decision was delayed following a planning committee meeting in February to allow members to digest paperwork supplied by Banks Renewables.