Policy ENV 9: Wind energy

  1. In accordance with LPS Policy SE 8 'Renewable and low carbon energy' Criterion 5, proposals for wind energy development, involving one or more wind turbines, will only be considered as suitable where they meet all of the following criteria:
    1. proposals are located outside of those areas identified on the adopted policies map as being highly sensitive to wind energy development, including local landscape designations and the Peak District National Park fringe;
    2. proposals do not adversely affect the integrity of international ecological designations footnote 4 listed in LPS Policy SE 3 'Biodiversity and geodiversity';
    3. the impacts of the proposed wind energy development on key landscape characteristics are minimised. This means of a scale and type where landscape sensitivity to wind energy development has been identified as being 'low to moderate' or 'moderate' in impact in the Landscape Sensitivity to Wind Energy Developments (2013) study;
    4. the individual and cumulative impact of schemes is acceptable in line with the landscape, ecological, amenity and operational factors set out in LPS Policy SE 8 'Renewable and low carbon energy'. Proposals should not have a detrimental impact on air traffic safety or give rise to unacceptable harm to the natural or historic environment, heritage assets and their settings; and
    5. sufficient distance can be maintained between the proposal and sensitive receptors to protect amenity, particularly with respect to noise and visual impacts.
  2. Applications for wind energy development should also include:
    1. an assessment of shadow flicker or reflected light that might affect nearby land uses and/or properties. This assessment should also look to identify appropriate mitigation measures;
    2. details of associated infrastructure including connection to the electricity network and the suitability of the access routes to the proposed site for construction and operation of the proposed use;
    3. a landscape appraisal or landscape visual impact assessment (when environmental impact assessment is required) that should carefully consider cumulative impacts;
    4. details of consultation with statutory bodies and infrastructure providers, as appropriate;
    5. an appraisal of how any proposal responds to the general design principles set out in the Landscape Sensitivity to Wind Energy Developments study; and
    6. details of what will be decommissioned and removed from the site at the end of its operational use through a decommissioning method statement. Planning conditions and/or legal agreements will be used to secure these.

Supporting information

4.54  Planning applications for wind energy development will also be considered alongside national planning policy as a material consideration. The NPPF 2021 (footnote 54) and LPS Policy SE 8 ‘Renewable and low carbon energy’ say, amongst other things, that proposed new wind turbines (except where they involve repowering of existing turbines) should not be considered acceptable unless, following consultation, it can be demonstrated that the planning impacts identified by the local community have been fully addressed and the proposal has their backing.

4.55  The turbine heights and cluster sizes that apply to this policy are shown below in Table 4.1 'Turbine heights and cluster sizes'.

Table 4.1 Turbine heights and cluster sizes
Turbine height (to blade tip) 
Very small turbines Approximately 15 to 25 metres excluding roof mounted turbines
Small turbines Approximately 26 to 50 metres
Medium turbines Approximately 51 to 75 metres
Large turbines Approximately 76 to 110 metres
Very large turbines Approximately 111 to 150 metres (plus)
Turbine cluster size
Small scale clusters Up to 5 turbines
Medium scale clusters 6 to 10 turbines
Large scale clusters 11 to 25 turbines
Very large scale clusters 26 turbines and over

4.56   This policy has been informed by the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Planning Research (2011) and the Landscape Sensitivity to Wind Energy Developments (2013) study. The climate change and sustainable energy study describes the potential sources of renewable energy in the borough taking account factors such as wind speeds and the presence of high level constraints.

4.57   The landscape sensitivity study is based on an assessment of landscape character using carefully defined criteria and provides guidance on design and layout of schemes to minimise impacts on the landscape. Together, these studies provide useful guidance for preparing and considering proposals for wind development, and should be read alongside this policy.

4.58   The landscape sensitivity study identifies areas where the sensitivity of the landscape to wind development is likely to be greatest and areas where impacts may be more moderate. Proposals for very large and large wind turbines are unlikely to be acceptable anywhere in the borough due to the sensitivity of the landscape. In addition, applications for wind energy development in high landscape sensitivity areas will not normally be permitted.

4.59  The clustering of turbines in particular concentrations can be damaging to the landscape. As such, proposals for large and very large scale clusters of turbines are unlikely to be acceptable anywhere in the borough due to the sensitivity of the landscape.

4.60   Proposals for small or medium turbines in single free standing units or small groups may be acceptable in areas where landscape sensitivity has been identified as being low-moderate or moderate (there are no areas of low sensitivity) and when considered against all aspects of this policy and alongside LPS Policy SE 8 'Renewable and low carbon energy'. Table 6.1 of the Landscape Sensitivity to Wind Energy Developments study summarises the overall landscape sensitivity across landscape character type areas across the borough.

4.61  However, in all areas there will be characteristics in the landscape that are sensitive to wind energy development and applicants should demonstrate how impacts, including cumulative impacts, would be acceptably minimised through siting, layout and design. Guidance on such factors can be found in appendices 1 and 2 of the Landscape Sensitivity to Wind Energy Developments study.

4.62  Applicants are encouraged to initiate consultations with airport operators and Jodrell Bank, where necessary, prior to the submission of planning applications.

4.63   The presence and operation of wind turbines can present issues for aviation. The amount of interference depends on the number and size of wind turbines, construction materials, location and on the shape of the blades. The most significant impacts are likely to arise in connection with large turbines, but smaller installations can also have impacts and need to be assessed. Where consultations with the relevant operators identify that there may be impacts on air traffic safety then proposals will not be supported.

4.64  In line with LPS Policy SE 14 ‘Jodrell Bank’ and Policy HER 9 'Jodrell Bank World Heritage Site', development proposals within the Jodrell Bank Observatory Radio Telescope Consultation Zone/World Heritage Site Buffer Zone that impair the efficiency of the telescope or have an adverse impact on the historic environment and visual landscape setting of the Jodrell Bank Observatory Radio Telescope will not be supported.

4.65  Applicants are encouraged to carry out pre-application consultation with the local community, for all planning applications for wind development involving more than two turbines or where the hub height of any turbine exceeds 15 metres. Details of the consultation should be agreed with the local planning authority in advance. In larger scale developments, regular site liaison committees should be held, where there is interest from local residents.

4.66   Proposals for wind turbines in the Green Belt constitute inappropriate development. In such cases developers will need to demonstrate very special circumstances in accordance with national policy.

4.67   Onshore wind turbines typically have a design life of 25 years and so planning conditions and/or legal agreements will be used to address issues such as decommissioning and removal.

4.68  LPS Policy SE 15 'Peak District National Park fringe' notes the value of the Peak District National Park as an asset of national, regional, and local importance and this policy will seek to protect the setting of the national park, where development compromises its statutory designation and purpose.

4.69  Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the relevant water undertaker to consider the effects in public water supply catchment land so as to minimise potential impacts.

Related documents

(Footnote 4) Including Special Protection Areas, Special Areas of Conservation, Ramsar sites and any potential Special Protection Areas, candidate Special Areas of Conservation or proposed Ramsar Sites. 

Policy information


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