Welcome to the Shepham Wind Farm online consultation.

 

Wind Farm Appeal

Regeneco has lodged an Appeal with the Planning Inspectorate against Wealden District Council’s decision to refuse the Shepham Wind Farm planning application.

Having worked very closely with the council, statutory consultees and a number of industry experts to produce an acceptable planning application, we were extremely disappointed by the committee’s decision to refuse planning permission. We believe that, in reaching its decision, the Council did not give enough weight to the environmental and socio-economic benefits of the project, or their own Officers’ recommendation that the scheme be approved.

We have therefore taken the decision to Appeal to the Planning Inspectorate against the Council’s refusal of the scheme; it is likely that a Public Inquiry will be held later this year. We look forward to keeping the local community updated via the project website throughout the process.

Revised Planning Application Refused

10th May 2013

We are extremely disappointed by the committee’s decision despite officers’ recommendation for approval.

The turbines were refused on the grounds that they would be dominant and intrusive on the landscape.

We have worked very closely with the council, statutory consultees and industry experts to produce an acceptable planning application. We will now wait for the formal decision notice to be issued before considering our options.

New Planning Application for Shepham Wind Farm submitted

6 March 2013

Galliford Try Renewables (GTR) - has now re-submitted a planning application for the Shepham Wind Farm.

We withdrew the original planning application in July last year, following the planning officer’s recommendation that the application be refused consent. The application was withdrawn in order that we could take on board the concerns raised and amend the scheme to make it acceptable. We have worked closely with Wealden District Council and leading industry advisors to produce a new scheme, which we hope is considered more acceptable to the local authority and community.

The new application (reference number WD/2013/0346/MEA) consists of three wind turbines of up to 115m (377ft) tip height.

Significant changes have been made to the original five turbine scheme. The revised proposal has been amended as follows:

  • Removing turbines 1 and 2 (the two on the north-western side of Shepham Lane), reducing the scheme from five to three turbines.
  • Reducing the tip height of the remaining three turbines from 126.25m (414ft) to 115m (377ft).
  • Relocating two of the remaining turbines towards the east of the site (the easternmost turbine remains in the same position).
  • The 80m (262ft) met mast has been removed and does not feature in the new application.

Key Facts

  • Small wind farm of three turbines, with potential installed capacities of 2 – 2.5 mega-watts (MW) each. The total generating capacity of the wind farm would therefore be 6 – 7.5MW, depending upon the type of turbines selected before construction.
  • The wind farm could produce over 19,700MWh of clean electricity each year. [1]
  • This would have the effect of reducing up to 8,475 tonnes of carbon each year.[2]
  • Supply the equivalent annual electricity needs of over 4,000 homes.[3]
  • Help to meet the UK’s legal binding commitment to generate 20% of energy from renewable sources by 2020.

 Local Benefits

As well as producing clean electricity, reducing Co2 emissions and providing energy security, the wind farm could bring a number of benefits to the local community, including employment and procurement opportunities for local businesses, and a Community Benefit Fund for local projects.

The region has very limited opportunities for onshore wind farms – mostly due to the presence of the National Park. There are no other wind farms in Sussex, apart from a single turbine at Glyndebourne, and this site might offer one of the only opportunities for the county to meet its renewable energy target of 68MW by 2016 (excluding offshore wind); so far Sussex has fulfilled less than 10% of this target.  The generating capacity of the wind farm would be 6-7.5MW (depending on the type of turbines chosen), which could make a significant contribution to Sussex’s target.

[1]An estimate of the amount of electricity produced by a wind energy development can be calculated as follows: Electricity produced = B x 0.3 x 8760. Where B = the rated capacity of the wind energy development in kW and 0.3 is the capacity factor and 8760 is the number of hours in the year. On average then, a typical onshore turbine in the UK, rated at 2 MW, produces 5.3 million units of electricity each year. This is equivalent to 5,256 MWh or 5.3 GWh.

[1]Using a carbon displacement figure of 430g CO2/kWh and average household electricityconsumption of 4,700kWh per annum (source: RenewableUK website).

[1]Based on an average household electricity consumption of 4,700kWh per annum (source:RenewableUK website).

The planning application, including the Environmental Statement, is available to view at the Council’s offices, on their website, or on the Downloads page of this website.

GTR to submit new planning application for Shepham Wind Farm

6 December 2012

GTR has announced it intends to submit a new planning application for the Shepham Wind Farm

Having considered the Planning Officer’s recommendation to refuse the scheme in July, we decided to withdraw the application so that we could take on board the concerns raised and amend the scheme to make it acceptable. 

There were three reasons for refusal: 

  1. Unacceptable impact on the South Downs National Park, in particular on views to the Park from the Pevensey Levels
  2. Unacceptable impact upon four local residential properties
  3. Alleged deficiency in our assessment of heritage features (please note that this was concerning methodology and not due to an unacceptable impact on heritage features)

WDC did not find any other reasons for refusal and found that the wind farm would operate within acceptable noise limits and was otherwise in accordance with local, regional and national planning policy.

We have considered these issues in great detail and over the last five months and have worked closely with WDC to re-design the wind farm. A different scheme is now proposed, which significantly reduces the impact of the proposal. We have achieved this reduction in three ways: 

  • Removing turbines 1 and 2 (the two on the north-western side of Shepham Lane)
  • Reducing the tip height of the remaining three turbines from 126.25m (414ft) to 115m (377ft)
  • Relocating two of the remaining turbines towards the east of the site (the easternmost turbine remains in the same position)

We are currently in the process of producing revised environmental assessments for a new planning application, which we intend to submit early in the New Year. The new planning application documents will be made available on the website, once the application has been submitted.

GTR to review Shepham Wind Farm Application

17 July 2012

GTR has announced it intends to review its Shepham Wind Farm application, with a view to re-submitting the scheme.

Having considered the Planning Officer’s report to Wealden Council’s Planning Committee South – which was published last week – GTR has withdrawn the application. This decision has been made as GTR has been unable to respond to the inclusion of last-minute comments and feedback.

GTR comments: “The publication of the Committee Report last week was the first time we have had a clear view of Wealden Council’s position on the proposal, and we feel we need time to respond to the matters raised. From the outset, we have sought to work with the Council and consultees in the development of the project, and we wish to continue working with them to find a mutually acceptable scheme”.

 

 

GTR’s request for the application to be deferred (to a later committee) was declined by the Council; therefore a decision has been made to withdraw, with a view to re-submitting an application in the near future. GTR will look to update the community regarding a potential resubmission once they have had the opportunity to review and respond to the matters raised.

 

 

Update - Answers to Questions

March 2012

Since submitting a planning application for a wind farm in September 2011, many questions have been asked by the local community; some have arisen from the information provided within the planning application and some have been fuelled by misinformation.

In response, GTR has produced a booklet that sets out to answer the main questions that have been raised about the proposal. It also provides an update of the responses received from statutory consultees - such as Natural England, The Highways Agency and The Environment Agency.

Please follow this link to view a copy of the Answers to Questions Booklet.

Further information about wind power can be found in booklets written by the Centre for Sustainable Energy and Friends of the Earth. Please follow this link to view copies of these booklets.

December 2011

GTR would like to reassure residents that there are no direct health effects from noise or vibration at the level generated by wind turbines.

In response to concerns that wind turbines emit infrasound and cause associated health problems, Dr Geoff Leventhall, author of the Defra Report on Low Frequency Noise and its Effects, comments:

"I can state quite categorically that there is no significant infrasound from current designs of wind turbines. To say that there is an infrasound problem is one of the hares which objectors to wind farms like to run."

Assessments measuring wind turbine noise – and accepted by experienced noise professionals – have repeatedly shown that the levels of infrasonic noise and vibration radiated from modern wind turbines are at a very low level; so low that they lie below the threshold of perception, even for those people who are particularly sensitive to such noise, and even on an actual wind turbine site.

Given that levels of vibration from wind turbines are almost impossible to detect - only the most sensitive and sophisticated equipment can reveal their presence - there would be no impact to people’s homes or businesses from vibrations.

We hope the conclusions of qualified noise experts help to allay concerns residents may have. However, should you have any queries regarding this, or any other aspects of the proposal, please contact us at info@shephamwindfarm.co.uk.


Application Submitted

Galliford Try Renewables (GTR), part of the Galliford Try group, has recently submitted a planning application for a five-turbine wind farm near Polegate, north of the A27, following an in-depth public consultation programme. We have been exploring the possibility of a small wind farm near Polegate and Stone Cross since 2009. Please follow this link to view the planning application and Non-Technical Summary; copies are also available at Wealden District Council offices. Following the submission of the planning application, the Council will be undertaking its own formal consultation with residents, in which they can make their views known. The Council will also be consulting with a number of organisations before making a decision on the planning application.

The Proposal

If granted planning permission, Shepham Wind Farm would have an installed capacity of 10 to 12.5MW and could generate between 26,280MWh and 32,850MWh1 of electricity each year. This is enough clean electricity to power 5,590 to 6,900 homes2, which is around the combined number of households in Polegate and Westham3. The wind farm could also save 11,000 to 14,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum4.

Community Benefit Fund

Should the application be consented, we will provide a Community Benefit Fund as part of the project. For more information on the benefits of the Community Benefit Fund and how to become involved in the development of the trust, please visit the Community Benefit Fund webpage. Should you have any queries about the proposal please contact us at info@shephamwindfarm.co.uk.

[1] The amount of electricity produced by a wind energy development can be calculated as follows: Electricity produced = B x 0.3 x 8760 Where B = the rated capacity of the wind energy development in kW and constants 0.3 and 8760 have the same meaning as above. On average then, a typical onshore turbine in the UK, rated at 2 MW, produces 5.3 million units of electricity each year. This is equivalent to 5,256 MWh or 5.3 GWh.
[2] Based on an average household electricity consumption of 4,700kWh per annum (source: RenewableUK website).
[3] Households in 2009 (parishes) – Polegate 4,139; Westham 2,467 = 6,606 (source: East Sussex County Council’s ‘East Sussex in Figures’ website)
[4] Using a carbon displacement figure of 430g CO2/kWh and average household electricity consumption of 4,700kWh per annum (source: RenewableUK website, www.bwea.com/index.html). Emissions reductions can be calculated using the following formulae: CO2 (in tonnes) = (A x 0.3 x 8760 x 430)/1000. Where A = the rated capacity of the wind energy development in MW, 0.3 is a constant - the capacity factor - which takes into account the intermittent nature of the wind, the availability of the wind turbines and array losses. 8760 is the number of hours in a year. A typical turbine being installed onshore in the UK currently has a rated capacity of 2 MW and will therefore contribute emission reductions of 2260 tonnes of CO2 each year.

 

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Wind Farm Appeal