Zoo park launches appeal against planners refusal to grant permission for new turbines

Pathfinder House, Huntingdonshire District Council.

Pathfinder House, Huntingdonshire District Council. - Credit: Archant

Hamerton Zoo Park has lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate after its plans for two new wind turbines were refused by Huntingdonshire District Council.

The zoo won permission to install two 46metre high wind turbines back in 2012 but applied to the council last year for permission to double the number of turbines in order to supply the park with more renewable energy.

Hamerton also said that the extra turbines would ensure the “economic sustainability” of the park.

But officials at the district council turned down the zoo’s application for the new turbines, to be located in a field to the north of Hamerton village, on the grounds that they would be “out of scale” with the surrounding area.

Linda Walker, development management officer at the district council, said: “The scheme would result in a significant increase in the scale of wind farm development in this valued rural setting, and exacerbate those effects on the landscape of the existing developments.”

The zoo has decided to appeal the decision to the inspectorate.

Marie Stacey, acting on behalf of Hamerton Zoo, said in papers submitted for the appeal: “The proposed development would result in an increase from two turbines to four turbines at Hamerton Zoo Park and therefore the wind energy development would still be considered a small-scale group.

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“In terms of the positioning of the turbines, it is argued that the proposed turbines are located next to a strong local ridgeline and therefore the proposal does respect the landform.

“It is not considered that the proposed turbines are out of scale in relation to the existing context and the development will not affect the perception of the special character of the Northern Wolds landscape.”

Anyone wishing to make comments to the inspector has until August 28 to make their case. Visit https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk for more information.