RWE npower renewables, one of the UK’s leading renewable energy developers, has written to Milton Keynes Council requesting it withdraw its latest planning document on wind energy. It is believed the planning document conflicts with the Council’s own existing policies on wind energy and also with the government’s National Guidance.
In June 2012, Milton Keynes Council introduced the new Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), even though an independent report commissioned by the Council concluded that it was “flawed”, and despite a petition by local residents to Milton Keynes Council not to introduce the Policy as it stood.
RWE npower renewables has now written to the Council twice regarding the matter as well as raising concerns regarding the policy during the Council’s initial consultation of the draft SPD.
Wayne Cranstone, RWE's Onshore Development & Projects Director said:
“We agree and support policies that advocate responsibly and sensibly located developments. In this case though we believe Milton Keynes Council has sought to make a significant change to policy without going through the appropriate consultation and scrutiny necessary.
We are concerned that a planning policy that is contrary to national guidance and has not been through the correct statutory process could mislead local councillors and communities. They would be unable to place reliance on policies which are not valid and will not stand up at appeal.”
Wayne Cranstone continued: “We have tried several times to communicate our concerns with Milton Keynes Council, both as part of their own consultation process on the draft policy and by writing to the Council. In our latest correspondence we’ve advised again that we believe the SPD is flawed and asked for it to be withdrawn. Unfortunately, we may be in a position that there is no further alternative but to challenge the SPD within the High Courts at Judicial Review. This is also the advice from senior legal counsel.
The industry and local communities need a predictable and transparent planning regime, with decisions based upon clear and consistent criteria. There must be a robust planning process for renewable energy projects to protect future investment decisions in the UK. The planning process has a crucial role to balance national need with local concerns.”
Ffion Davies, PR Officer, RWE npower renewables
T 01793 474 129
Amy Bodey, Senior PR Officer, RWE npower renewables
T 01793 474 259