Saturday, 10 March 2007

Rules will ban wind turbines from gorge

Shropshire’s world famous Ironbridge Gorge could be off limits to the growing invasion of controversial wind turbines, thanks to a new ruling.

The Government has announced “buffer zones” around the 24 recognised World Heritage Sites across the UK, in a bid to protect them from skyscrapers and intrusive home improvements, such as stone cladding and satellite dishes.

And a Telford solicitor believes the new guidelines could also protect the Shropshire landmark from the growing national threat of wind turbines.

Graham Davies, of Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Euston Way, said the new laws were being introduced following concerns from UNESCO that Britain’s World Heritage Sites were being put at risk.

“They were worried that sites such as the Tower of London were in danger as a result of skyscraper developments being allowed nearby.

“And with the growing interest in seeking alternative power sources, the enormous wind turbines proposed in several areas of the UK could also be a threat.

“But thanks to the new ruling, the Ironbridge Gorge, and other listed sites across the country, would be protected from any future proposals for such developments.

“This is excellent news, as it’s vital that important historical sites like Ironbridge are preserved for future generations, without facing the onslaught of new developments which could ruin them forever.”

As well as protecting historic skylines from new high-rise buildings, the Government proposals suggest new powers to restrict stone cladding, dormer windows, and satellite dishes near the designated heritage sites.

This would ensure the landmarks are given the same kind of protection as national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty.

“It’s clear that the Government is keen to protect World Heritage Sites across the UK, and I’m sure the new rules will be warmly welcomed here in Shropshire,” said Graham.

“The Ironbridge Gorge is one of our county’s most famous attractions, renowned all over the world, and protecting it from future development is definitely an important step which needs to be taken.”

Pic: Graham Davis - Martin Kaye Solicitors