The refusal of Bedford Borough Council’s Liberal Democrat administration to implement a policy for wind turbines is leaving rural residents vulnerable to unwanted development, according to Conservative Councillor Alison Foster.
At Wednesday’s Full Council meeting, the Liberal Democrats voted against a motion from Cllr Foster calling for work to begin on a policy as soon as possible in order to give effect to protections for rural communities recently outlined by the Government.
Last month Communities Minister Eric Pickles wrote to council leaders stating his expectation that policies should be in place to allow local communities to object to planning applications for wind turbines if they would have an ‘adverse impact’ on landscape, heritage or amenity.
Cllr Foster, who is the Conservative representative for Harrold Ward said;
‘The Government’s recent announcement seeks to attach more weight to the objections of local residents to planning applications for wind turbines in and around their communities. The Liberal Democrats need to realise that a policy must be in place as soon as possible to give effect to these protections.
‘For over a year now we have been calling for the Mayor to implement a policy but his inaction shows he does not understand the importance of this issue to rural communities. The Council has a few sentences on renewable energy in its Local Plan but this certainly does not amount to a comprehensive and effective policy. Our rural communities must be protected from unwanted development.’