Complaints over wind turbine ‘were ignored’

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The Local Government Ombudsman is being called in by a residents’ action group over a successful application to install a wind turbine.

Wadsworth Residents’ Action Group wrote to the chief executive of Calderdale Council, Owen Williams, complaining about the way the application for an 82ft turbine on land adjacent to Old Town Reservoir was handled.

A spokesperson for the group said: “The reply rejected most complaints, conceding a few points.”

The group believes there was no proper consultation over the application and if there had been, the outcome may have been different.

“It would have had to go to the planning committee and local people could have influenced the outcome,” said the spokesperson.

“It was decided by a planning officer as there had been no objections.”

The group’s main objections were the lack of consultation, with Wadsworth Parish Council not being informed of the application, no advertisement in the local press and the removal of site notices.

Calderdale Council said that although mistakes were made, it should not be reviewed.

Mr Williams said: “I do not consider that there is evidence to show that, but for mistakes made, the decision was likely to have been different.

“The head of planning, Geoff Willerton, acknowledges mistakes in the report and offers his apologies.”

Mr Williams said Calderdale Council had considered the group’s request for wider neighbour notification and press advertisements for future wind turbines, but said the council would not consider widening the area for neighbour notification.Councillor Geoff Hughes, from Wadsworth Parish Council, said: “I don’t think anything is going to happen – apart from ensuring that nothing like this will happen again.”