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Core strategy - inspector stomps on WC plans for Westbury bypass and wind turbine restrictions

April 9, 2014 5:11 PM

The planning inspector looking at Wiltshire Council's 'Core Strategy' has told the council to remove a reference to safeguarding a route for the Westbury Eastern bypass. The scheme was previously thrown out by another inspector in 2009, but despite this WC Conservatives were hoping to smuggle it back in. Instead of the specific reference a general policy to improve the A350 corridor has been allowed to be retained, but this makes it unlikely that any Tory schemes to resurrect the bypass would be successful.

The Conservatives had also attempted to sneak in a policy on wind turbines which would have established minimum separation distances from dwellings, the figures being set in such a way as to virtually eliminate any possibility of turbines being constructed, even where local communities were supporting or proposing them. Instead the Inspector has inserted a clause to say that the cumulative effect of renewable energy schemes can be taken into account.

This will also be relevant to solar panel installations. Large numbers of these are being built or applied for at the moment, to the extent that some parts of the county are potentially being overwhelmed by them.

These measures have been recommended unilaterally by the Inspector and will form part of the 6 week consultation that is taking place on the Wiltshire Core Strategy between Monday 14 April and Tuesday 27 May.