THERE are plenty of subjects of planning applications that divide opinion and it’s fair to say Ashbourne has seen its fair share this year.
But some of the applications that provoke the strongest reactions are not those that seek to develop a field in to housing, or swallow up farm land to allow for a huge chicken-farming unit.
In recent years one of the most controversial applications has been the attempt to source renewable energy from the wind.
The Government has a strict energy target it must meet by the year 2020. At least 15 per cent of our energy production has to come from renewable sources. That means solar energy, biofuels and wind power.
This is why, more often than not, a democratic planning process will be over-ruled by a Government inspector. The pressures and targets are all different.
In the case of a recent decision in Hulland Ward a Government inspector had already seen a similar application for a slightly larget turbine and those against the application argued that there was no way, if the district council members voted against it, it would be let through at an appeal.
I guess now that the members have approved the application we’ll never know.
Renewable energy, as much as we all like the theory of harnessing power from sustainable sources, will always have its controversies.
Solar panels are said to look hideous on houses and solar farms - a technology the UK is lagging way behind on - have never really caught on here.
Tidal power is off the menu for us here in land-locked Derbyshire but why has nobody come forward with a proposal to harness power from our waters?
As long as the impact on wildlife is kept to a minimum, if a farmer is fortunate enough to have a river on their land, why not set up a turbine on that? Given the recent spell of heavy rain, flowing water seems to be something we’re hardly ever short of.