I am pleased that Ed Balls is taking an interest in the concerns of his constituents regarding the location and number of housing developments in Wakefield – which far exceed national, regional and local targets and are hence causing much resentment.
I hope he is giving similar attention to the location and number of onshore wind turbines being installed in the Wakefield area – which again exceed all set targets and are proving to be equally unpopular.
Ian Thomson is keen to defend the WMDC LDF and the site specific policies incorporated into the framework.
However, there is nothing in the LDF which directly relates to stand alone renewables such as wind farms (defined as two or more turbines with blade diameter greater than 16 metres and hub height greater than 15 metres). So it is difficult for local residents to understand how and why their neighbourhoods are being selected for developments.
I see where the government has been successfully challenged at the United Nations over the introduction of the National Renewable Energy Action Plan – and the policies relating to onshore wind turbines in particular.
The recent ruling by the UN Committee confirmed that, because the UK NREAP was not subjected to public participation, the UK failed to comply with article 7 of the Aarhus Convention in this regard.
The ruling leaves me wondering how WMDC is getting away with the implementation of an energy policy for Wakefield which seems to be only in the minds of planners and members of the Highways and Planning Committee and which has not been subjected to public participation.
I would suggest that WMDC has also failed to comply with article 7 (see ECU Implementation Guide for the Aarhus Convention).