Council overturns decision on Colney Heath wind turbines

WIND power is coming to Colney Heath after the district council blew out its original objections to the scheme.

The original proposal for a 24.8m-high 11kW turbine on Green Belt land in the village was rejected because the council felt it was an inappropriate and unacceptable structure in the Green Belt with no exceptional circumstances to support it.

Neighbours had voiced fears that the wind turbine at Colney Heath farmhouse in the High Street could have a detrimental impact on their health and was too close to homes and offices.

They were also concerned about noise pollution and potential impact on house prices and said it was “out of scale” for the village and queried its impact on birds and bats.

Herts Biological Records Centre commented that while there was no evidence of an indirect impact on birds from wind turbines, “the site lies between Sleapshyde and Tyttenhanger gravel pits which are important for birds.”

But applicant Greg Felton resubmitted the bid with alterations including building a tubular shaped tower instead of a lattice one, and increasing the ground-to-hub height 10cm from 18.3m to 18.4m.

Commenting on the amended scheme, the council said the appearance of the tubular shaped tower would be “more slim-line and less industrial” than the lattice design previously applied for.

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Also, there would be “benefit gained from energy obtained from a renewable source.”

As the turbine would be located 110m from the nearest building on the farm and about 180m from the nearest neighbour, it was felt noise would not cause any harm to residents.

The wind turbine was predicted to generate 21,440kWh per year, and anticipated to provide about 80 per cent of the farm’s onsite electricity consumption.

A two-way meter would be installed to allow power to be fed directly to the national grid when energy generation exceeded onsite demand.

It is believed to be the first wind turbine approved for the rural area.