MP urges rural residents to take control of local planning

Andrea Leadsom, Candidate for the Conservative Party, in South Northants General Election Bid
Andrea Leadsom, Candidate for the Conservative Party, in South Northants General Election Bid

South Northants MP Andrea Leadsom is urging rural residents to change charge of the planning process as she backs a High Court challenge against a wind farm prosposal near Helmdon.

Mrs Leadsom will update residents on the propsoals for Spring Farm Ridge during a public meeting at Greatworth Primary School from 7pm tonight Tuesday, September 25.

The application from developers Broadview was originally turned down in June 2011 by the South Northants Council planning committee who expressed concerns the development would have ‘a major impact on the landscape.’

Broadview then appealed to the Planning Inspectorate and despite agreeing with the SNC findings the Planning Inspector upheld the appeal.

Mrs Leadsom has written on many occasions to the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Planning Inspectorate expressing the enormous concern of local communities and urging the authorities to think again.

She added: “Decisions like these are undermining the localism agenda. I do not believe onshore wind farms offer a stable solution to our energy security needs especially in a county like Northamptonshire which is not known for being windy!

“Yet Northamptonshire is inundated with applications from developers who are simply taking advantage of the generous taxpayer funded subsidy that is on offer.

“I am holding this meeting to update local residents and discuss with them the next steps. I will be encouraging communities to develop their neighbourhood development plans as soon as possible; as it appears that planning decisions are still being based on the previous Government’s policies.

“Until we have a proper local plan in place we will continue to fall victim to planning developments that are against the wishes of the local community being approved on appeal.”