Dorcas Lane Appeal to be decided by Secretary of State

The Appeal against AVDC’s refusal of planning consent for the Dorcas Lane Wind Farm will now be decided by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP. Pickles’ office recently wrote to both AVDC and our MP (and SDLT President) John Bercow and confirmed that Mr Pickles will now make the final decision regarding the Appeal.

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has decided to extend the temporary change to the appeals recovery criteria and continue to consider for recovery appeals for renewable energy developments for a further 12 months. Dorcas Lane will now be one of approximately 30 additional developments under Appeal that will be decided by him.

The developers of the wind farm, Force 9 Energy and EDF, had appealed against AVDC’s refusal of planning consent. The Appeal is scheduled to be heard by Planning Inspector Ms Jessica Graham in late June and early July. The Inspector will now prepare a report and recommendation which will be submitted to Mr Pickles who will then make the decision in accordance with the planning merits of the case.

The SDLT action group, supported by John Bercow MP, had lobbied hard for this Appeal to be recovered, so we are delighted at the news. It is important to remember, however, that this does not mean that the Appeal will necessarily be rejected by Pickles – not every Appeal that he has recently recovered has subsequently been dismissed - but the Secretary of State has clearly said that where communities strongly object to such inappropriate development, they should not be forced to have them and that it was vital to give local people more say over wind farm applications.

The planning case against this development is overwhelmingly strong given the immense harm which would be caused in respect of blighting our local landscape, making people’s houses uninhabitable, and the impossibility of creating acceptable access to the site. The Secretary of State has also now recognised our serious concerns about aviation safety, which we understand to be the reason for agreeing to recover this Appeal. Importantly, this decision does not change any of our preparations for the Inquiry in June/July – we still need to raise the same amount of money to pay our legal and expert witness costs and our fund-raising activities remain as critical as ever.

SDLT Annual General Meeting

The Annual General meeting of Stop Dorcas Lane Turbine Group will be held in Stoke Hammond Community Centre at 7.30pm on May 20 2014.

Nominations for: Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer will be accepted in writing with the nominee’s permission and acceptance two weeks prior to the meeting.

Please forward nominations to:

Mrs Hazel Turner, Maples, Church Road, Stoke Hammond MK17 9BP

The things some people will do to raise money for SDLT!

WAR - the Warrior Adrenaline Race

A group of Stoke Hammond heroes are taking on the challenge of the Warrior Adrenaline Race on Dunstable Downs on Saturday 26th April 2014.

The challengers will be tackling the tough terrain of the downs and the harsh weather that comes with the territory. The challenge this group have taken on is to run 5 Kilometers and encountering tough obstacles such as The Dip Tank, Spider Web and The Regiment Hill

Please sponsor these 'Warriors'. All money pledged will go towards SDLT's efforts to raise in the region of £100,000 to fight the imposition of these industrial giants within our rural landscape

Click here for further details

OR

Click here to sponsor the SDLT Team

Easter Egg Hunt

The next event in our diary is a fun one for the whole family, be they young or old – an Easter Egg Hunt. It takes place on Saturday, 19th April from 1-3pm with the Hunt starting and finishing at the Stoke Hammond community centre on Bragenham Side. You simply collect your Easter Egg hunt clue sheet from the community centre and follow the clues around the village of Stoke Hammond looking for the next one. Once you have collected all of your clues, head back to the community centre where each child will receive an Easter egg as a prize.

Also at the community centre there will be tea, coffee, juice and cakes on sale, face painting, a sweet stall, lucky dip and a kids bric a brac stall. At 2.30pm there will be an Easter bonnet competition - so make your own bonnet before you come and join in the parade to see if you win!

Entry to the hunt costs just £5 per child and as part of this each child will receive a lovely Easter Egg when they return to the community centre. It promises to be a great afternoon and a wonderful opportunity to stretch those legs and help support our fund-raising. You can buy tickets in advance from Alison Sheehan on 01525 270023 or from the Stoke Hammond village shop. Alternatively you can pay on the day.

Click here for further details

Inquiry to be held in Summer 2014.

The Planning Inspectorate has now confirmed the dates for the Public Inquiry following the Appeal made by Force 9 Energy. The Inquiry will take place over 6 days in 2 sessions, the dates being 24th-26th June and 1st-3rd July 2014. It will be held in The Oculus at Aylesbury Vale District Council.

There are several key stages leading up to the Inquiry which require detailed input from all parties – us, AVDC and Force 9 Energy

.

In February we submitted our Statement of Case to the Planning Inspector – this outlines our reasons for objection to the Appeal. Both AVDC and the Appellant have also submitted their Statements of Case.

On 4th March we and our legal counsel met with the Planning Inspector Jessica Graham, AVDC and the Appellant for a Pre-Inquiry Meeting (PIM). This was the first time we have met Ms. Graham and the purpose of the PIM was to provide an opportunity for procedural and administrative matters relating to the Inquiry to be explained and discussed, to identify the nature of the evidence to be submitted to the Inquiry and to consider a draft programme. Ms Graham also requested that a paper copy of all documents is held in AVDC’s office to enable the public to study them.

The next deadline is the 27th May for the Statements of Proof, which are the more detailed evidences supporting the reasons for objection to the Appeal. Ms Graham strongly encouraged any other interested persons who already know they wish to speak at the Inquiry to submit written statements by 27th May 2014, as early disclosure of evidence is vital to the appeal procedure.

She also re-affirmed the dates for the Public Inquiry but added that due to the number of expert witnesses required it would probably need to be extended by at least 2 additional days– once these additional dates are confirmed we will let you know.

AVDC reject Wind Turbine plan - 20th March 2013

The Dorcas Lane Wind Turbine proposal will be heard today by AVDC councillors

  • 16:37

    REFUSED

    Cheers erupt throughout the chamber as AVDC throw out the Dorcas Lane Wind Turbine proposal

  • 15:25

    Last to speak is Stewkley councillor Janet Blake who suggests that:

    ...visual impact would be impossible to mitigate
  • 15:00

    Andrew Smith of Force 9 Energy now has his turn to speak. He claims that only 20% of people in the local area have objected to the plans. Leaving what seems to be a factual inaccuracy to one side, he fails to mention that only 14 PEOPLE have supported the application, including the three land owners, all of whom stand to make a significant amount of money should these plans be approved

  • 14:40

    Protesters in favour of wind turbines near Stoke Hammond

  • 14:35

    Objector Joseph Cresswell says:

    We are not against renewable energy. But this is the wrong development, wrong area, for the wrong reasons."
  • 14:25

    A Stewkley schoolgirl takes to the mic to voice her objection to the proposal having taken the day off school to speak. She says she is not against wind energy, but:

    ...it is the wrong development and wrong area. Majority of young people in village are against
  • 14:55

    Jonathan Pope gets a huge round of applause as he criticises AVDC for letting the proposal get to this stage without proper public consultation

  • 14:05

    Speaking against the proposal on behalf of Soulbury P C, Jonathan Pope said:

    This will harm the health of local people, cultural heritage, business and is an undeniable risk to public safety
  • 13:52

    Speaking against the proposal on behalf of Stoke Hammond P C, Hazel Turner said:

    It brings no benefits, but instead insults us by offering £12,000 of community funding shared between six villages
  • 13:40

    Protesters against wind turbines near Stoke Hammond gathered before the meeting at Aylesbury Vale offices!

  • 13:30

    Updates to agenda info includes the Highway Agency who have (quite sensibly) objected to route one access (Hollingdon Lane) to the site area.

  • 13:11

    Speaking against the proposal, Mark Cunningham said:

    It is an appalling disregard of the virtually unanimous views of all six villages...and the idea that someone could come in purely for financial gain is utterly appalling so that's why I'm here today.
  • 12:00

    Attendees are gathering to read the official papers before the meeting starts at 1:00. Meanwhile, SDLT protestors at the AVDC offices are donning protest T Shirts and waving banners

  • 13:00

    And the Chamber doors open ... the crowds enter for the meeting. Rough estimates suggest that 95% of the audience is against this proposal. SDLT T-Shirts very much in evidence

  • 12:00

    Attendees are gathering to read the official papers before the meeting starts at 1:00. Meanwhile, SDLT protestors at the AVDC offices are donning protest T Shirts and waving banners

  • 10:30

    Unfortunately the weather is closing in and low cloud is obscuring the blimps that are now flying close to the proposed turbine site. Ironically there isn't enough wind to clear the low cloud.... Unsurprising really when you realise that the average wind speed at Dorcas Lane is within the lowest 2% of all proposed or planned wind farm sites across the whole country

  • 10:00

    SDLT Chairman Malcolm Newing speaks on BBC Three Counties Radio, along with fellow Stoke Hammond residents Sally Levkouskis and Dean Jackson, together with a Mr Butterworth representing Force 9 Energy / Electricité de France. General feeling is that Malcolm had the better of the various exchanges. The full transcript should be available soon on this website

  • 09:00

    The three orange blimps are now flying over the fields. At 400ft they are below the height of the four turbines with their 295ft rotating blades

    Joseph, Hollingdon

Application Hearing confirmed for Wed 20th March

AVDC have now confirmed that the Strategic Development Control Committee will determine the application to build 4 turbines at Dorcas Lane on Weds 20th March.

The Hearing is a public meeting and it is extremely important that we show the strength of our local opposition by attending in numbers. Please do not leave this to others and make every effort to attend – the venue is a large building capable of holding 200+ members of the public and we want to fill it. If you have friends and neighbours who support our cause, please bring them along.

The Hearing will take place at:

THE OCULUS,
AVDC,
THE GATEWAY,
GATEHOUSE ROAD,
AYLESBURY
HP19 8FF

Start time of the meeting is 1pm – we strongly recommend that you arrive by 12.30 to ensure that everyone is seated in good time. Visitor parking is available on site – if you lack transport we are also arranging a coach to collect people from the surrounding villages. This will be free of charge and if you would like transportation please contact us via email at stopdorcaslaneturbines@hotmail.co.uk


Our objections in detail - Find out the facts

SDLT have recently submitted a Statement of Objection document to Aylesbury Vale District Council. This document explains in exhaustive detail all our material objections to the proposed erection of four 125m high turbines at Dorcas Lane, as well as delivering a highly critical examination of Force 9 Energy’s submitted documentation.

To help our supporters understand the specific concerns we have produced a series of Fact Sheets newsletters, each one covering a specific area of concern, which we are pleased to now make available to anyone visiting our website.

In the side bar to the right of this paragraph is a list of page links titled 'Fact Sheets'. Select and click on a subject to view our detailed and specific concerns with the Dorcas Lane wind turbine application

The Proposal at a Glance

What it is about?

A proposal to build 4 wind turbines each one over 410 feet high, or almost the height of the London Eye and 3 times that of the Milton Keynes Snow Dome.

Why should I be concerned?

The wind farm will be extremely close to the villages of  Hollingdon, Stoke Hammond, Soulbury, Stewkley, Drayton Parslow, Newton Longville, Newton Leys and Great Brickhill.  If you live in one of these villages you will be affected in some way.

If you live further away, don’t relax. It is proven that once one wind farm goes up in an area, many more follow. For example, since the first one was built in nearby Cambridgeshire in 2005, there have been 27 wind farms either erected, approved, under construction or currently in for planning application in the county, totalling 115 turbines!

How might it affect me?

• By reducing the price of your house, if you can sell it at all

• By damaging your health via sleep disturbance caused by noise and low-frequency vibration causing migraines and palpitations

• By causing stress and irritation from the shadow flicker caused by the sun passing behind the turning blades.

• By putting you and your family at risk of turbine blade fracture and ice thrown from the blades in winter.

• By spoiling your view of the countryside and taking away your rights to enjoy the amenities on your doorstep.

But won’t these turbines help save the planet?

The contribution to our renewable energy needs made by this wind farm will be tiny. This area has wind speeds lower than national average. There are other areas where the same wind farm would produce more energy, make a greater contribution and minimise the over-proliferation of wind turbines around the UK.

But why do it then?

Because the subsidies are so great that the true commercial viability of the project isn’t a matter for consideration. And because the developers have managed to tempt 3 local land owners with very lucrative rental premiums to let them put turbines on their land. It’s really that simple and that opportunistic!

What can I do about it?

• Read this website

• Become a supporter of the SDLT Action Group

• Make a donation to the high cost of fighting the proposal.

• Write a strong letter of objection.

What people are now saying...

Quote from Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation:

The public backlash against wind farms in not surprising. It is the inevitable and inexorable consequence of a costly, unpopular and completely pointless policy that is butchering Britain’s green and pleasant landscape without having any effect on the climate. The green projects are only viable because of the multi-million pound subsidies supporting a few hundred wealthy landowners and a handful of energy companies. By opposing wind farms, a growing number of neighbourhoods and communities are protecting both their local environments and their purses from blind exploitation

Daily Mail 11th July 2011

 

Quote from Barara Frey & Peter Haddin (University of Minnesota):

Although the underlying mechanisms are not yet fully understood, when wind turbines are built near homes, it is undenyable that their noise causes a constellation of unwelcome effects, with varying degrees, on health, sleep, and health quality of life

Report on Wind Turbines and Proximity to Homes December 2011

 

Quote from British physician Dr Christopher Hanning:

It is concluded that there is compelling evidence that wind turbine noise can and does disturb sleep and impair the health of those living too close and that current guidance is inadequate protection. It is [also] concluded that the occupants of properties sited within 1.5km of turbines will suffer unacceptable levels of sleep disturbance and potential risk to their health.

Report on Wind Turbine Noise, Sleep and Health April 2010

Fund Raising Events 2014

  • An Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday 19th April from 1pm - 3pm at the Community Centre, Bragenham Side, Stoke Hammond
  • A Comedy Night on Friday 16th May at the Three Locks Golf Club
  • WoodStoke Revisited on Saturday 5th July behind the Community Centre, Stoke Hammond

Disclaimer

Stop Dorcas Lane Turbines Action Group seeks to ensure that the information published on this website is as up to date and accurate as possible. The information on this website does not constitute legal or professional advice and Stop Dorcas Lane Turbines Action Group cannot accept any liability for actions arising from its use. Stop Dorcas Lane Turbines Action Group cannot be held responsible for the contents of any website pages referenced to by an external web link. If you find any errors, please email corrections via the Contact Us page.