A ruling on three 100m wind turbines in the Colne Valley has been deferred.
Councillors decided to delay making a decision on the Valley Wind Co-operative’s plan to allow time for officers to consider late representations made by the applicant which raised legal and technical issues.
Also it was considered best to defer a ruling as fog affected visibility during a visit by councillors to the Slaithwaite Moor site of the proposed turbines,.
Simon Taylor, Head of Development Management at Kirklees, said: “For this sort of application it is not uncommon to receive late representations. Officers are capable of answering the majority of issues but in this instance the late representations from the applicant raises a number of questions about how the report sets out its conclusions.
“There are some matters where we don’t agree, but it’s important for this application because we are not just dealing with the standard UDP policies. This is a complex application and we’ve been asked to make a decision that affects EU designations and there is legislation that is set out. Beyond that, there are some legal issues to address.
“We do disagree with the applicants, but officers are mindful that there is a strong possibility it will involve the Planning Inspector and certainly the Secretary of State to make some sort of judgement on this application.”
He also said that a member of the public had noted the foggy conditions during the councillors site visit, and asked members if it affected their ability to judge the plan.
Clr Eric Firth moved they defer a decision to give officers time to consider all matters which was seconded by Clr Christine Iredale and backed by all but three committee members. Kirklees Council planners had advised that the turbines should be refused, believing the harm caused to the greenbelt will be too high to outweigh any benefit.
Kirklees also ruled that there are other, suitable sites where the development could take place.
The Valley Wind Co-operative dispute parts of the officer’s report, and has submitted further evidence which had not been made public at the time of Thursday’s meeting.