Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Committee considered a report by the Service Lead Environmental Protection (circulated previously) regarding Batsworthy Cross Windfarm.
The Service Lead Environmental Protection highlighted the following:
· Noise compliance monitoring at six locations close to Batsworthy Cross Windfarm had confirmed compliance with the noise related planning conditions at five of these six locations.
· Exceedance of the noise limits in the sixth location had previously been confirmed. A response from the Operator had been received on 8 October 2020 confirming that a mitigation strategy had been put in place, and presenting information to support their view that compliance was now being achieved.
· Officers shared this response in a meeting with representatives from the Community and two ward members on 10 November 2020, and subsequently undertook a review of the response taking into account the views of the Council’s acoustic consultant and those presented in this meeting.
· It was concluded by Officers’ that additional information was needed from the Operator to enable further assessment of the position of compliance which they were putting forward to be undertaken.
· On 23 November 2020, the Council’s Senior Management Team took a decision to approve Officers’ making a request for this information from the Operator which was actioned on 1 December 2020. A response to this request was received from the Operator on 18th December 2020. This decision did not preclude the Council asking the Operator to undertake further monitoring.
· Since November 2020 officers had been requesting information from the Operator. Officers had now received all of the information required to scrutinise and review to determine the next stage. The review of calculations was quite a lengthy process.
· The Council had received several detailed requests from the community and he understood that none of these requests were outstanding.
· He advised that the report was to note and that a further report would be presented to the Committee at its meeting in March 2021.
In response to a question, the Service Lead Environmental Protection advised that he was not aware of any response received from the community regarding the reduction of noise.
The Chair invited Jane Faust to address the Committee for three minutes.
Jane Faust addressed the Committee.
In response to the points raised by Jane Faust, the Service Lead Environmental Protection advised the following:
· Officers had now received sufficient information from the Operator to make an assessment. The Operator had presented a position of alleged compliance, however insufficient evidence had been provided to back this position and therefore Officers had requested further information from the Operator on a number of occasions.
· The current position did not preclude the Council requesting further noise measurements and monitoring. Once the data had been scrutinised, officers would be able to make a judgement.
In response to questions from the Committee, the Service Lead Environmental Protection advised the following:
· It was anticipated that the process of evaluating data would be complete in time for the March 2021 meeting of the Committee, however it was a complex process. However, he would provide an update at the next meeting of the Committee and if evaluation of data had not been completed by that date, he would provide a report to the April 2021 meeting of the Committee.
In response to questions, the Chief Executive advised the following:
· That requiring that further noise measurements be undertaken at this stage could delay compliance further as could not commit to when the monitoring would end. Once officers had concluded its assessment of the information provided by the Operator, it could then be concluded that compliance could be achieved on the site which would be a quicker solution. This would not prevent further monitoring if required in the future.
In response to a question, the Service Lead Environmental Protection advised that once compliance had been achieved in the sixth location, then the planning conditions allowed for monitoring to be undertaken following receipt of complaints made to the Council.
The Committee noted the report and that a report would be presented to the Committee on 1 March 2021.
Publication date: 11/02/2021
Date of decision: 01/02/2021
Decided at meeting: 01/02/2021 - Strategy and Resources Committee