Agenda item

Batsworthy Cross Windfarm

Report by Service Lead – Environmental Protection (attached)


The Committee considered a report by the Service Lead – Environmental Protection (circulated previously) regarding Batsworthy Cross Windfarm.


The Service Lead – Environmental Protection gave the Committee the following highlights:

·         Noise monitoring at the site confirmed compliance with Planning conditions at five of the six locations

·         The non-compliance at the sixth location occurred at a wind speed of seven miles an hour only

·         The Operator had proposed a strategy to mitigate this problem

·         Calculations undertaken by the Council’s acoustic consultant to verify the potential effectiveness of the strategy utilised data gathered in previous noise monitoring exercises associated with the site

·         Officers were satisfied that the proposals would provide compliance and proposed advising the Operator to implement the solution in full

·         The exceedance of 1.5 decibels of noise was not an audible sound to the human ear

·         The final report had been circulated more widely than normally to ensure all stakeholders had the opportunity to present their comments

·         Rose Ash Parish Council had submitted late comments on the final report to the Service Lead – Environment Protection Officer who requested to share their response

·         In summary the Parish Council advised that all they wanted was for North Devon Council to carry out recommendations that ensured compliance with the Planning Inspectorate’s conditions

·         Officers had secured the co-operation of the Operator to implement this strategy – which would result in compliance – as well as the highest level of environmental protection it was currently possible to obtain


In response to the unanswered questions raised by the Batsworthy Noise Group.  The Service Lead – Environment Protection Officer responded that North Devon Council were in compliance with the Planning Inspectorate requirements and that detailed responses had been given to the numerous requests for information.  Although there were further questions in the consultation response, these had been reviewed and it was considered that there was no relevant details to warrant amending the proposed course of action as set out in the Officer report.  All questions and further comments, however, would be answered/addressed in the fullness of time.


The Chair invited Jane Faust to address the Committee.


Jane Faust addressed the Committee.


In response to the first question raised by Jane Faust the Chief Executive advised that the question did not relate to the report being considered and would be addressed outside of this Committee as a separate matter.


Jane Faust asked about the compliance issue as the Inspectorate stated that compliance was binary not suggestive and if there was a non-compliance on site then further investigation of this should be undertaken.  The Service Lead – Environment Protection Officer responded that the assessment of noise compliance had been undertaken in relation to guidance from Planning.


The Chair invited David Morgans to address the Committee.


David Morgans addressed the Committee.


In response to Mr Morgan’s comments.  The Service Lead – Environment Protection Officer advised that it was not appropriate to discuss the technicalities of the noise level readings but that the findings in the report were correct.  The challenge of taking measurements against background wind noise would not give viable readings.  The Senior Solicitor/Monitoring Officer had reviewed the report being presented to the Committee by the Service Lead – Environmental Protection Officer and had not raised any issues with it from a legal perspective.


The Chair invited Bob Davis, independent noise consultant, to address the Committee.


Mr Davis addressed the Committee.


RESOLVED that under delegated powers, officers ask the Operator, to implement the proposed mitigation strategy in full, and provide written confirmation to the Council (within 21 days of the request having been made of them) that this has been done.




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