A controversial proposal to site two wind turbines on a hillside in Belchford has been refused by planners.
In November we told how Andrew Tuxworth, of Flintwood Farm, Belchford, had applied to East Lindsey District Council to put up two micro-turbines with masts of nine metres high and blades with a five-and-a-half metre diameter.
The turbines scheme, intended to power eco-lodges for holidaymakers, upset people living in the valleys beneath the farm and parish councils and individuals objected to the application.
Under delegated powers ELDC’s head of planning Ian Trowsdale determined the outcome of the application.
In his report Mr Trowsdale gave three reasons for his refusal.
The first was due to the height, nature and siting of the mast on a ridge within the Lincolnshire Wolds in an area of outstanding natural beauty, which Mr Trowsdale thought would have a harmful visual impact on the surrounding protected landscape.
He said the proposal would also detract from the quiet enjoyment of the local countryside due to its ‘visual impact’ being seen from public rights of way and would also pose a risk to horse riders on the bridle path.
And, he said it had not been demonstrated that there was any overriding need for the development or a need sufficient to justify approval in the face of restrictive planning policies designed to protect the countryside from ‘harmful development’.
He concluded: “To approve such development in the absence of overriding need would create a very difficult and serious precedent.”
Andrew Tuxworth told the News at the time of the application the siting of the turbines meant they would be as least invasive as possible.
After learning of the planning refusal he said he accepted the decision and would make no further comment.
Among the objectors were Belchford and Fulletby Parish Council, Scamblesby Parish Council and the county council footpaths officer.
Richard Black, chairman of Belchford and Fulletby Parish Council, said: “I am pleased that on this occasion the Planning Department has respected its Local Plan, National Planning guidelines and local residents’ and Parish Council concerns, in reaching its decision.
“Most local concern related to the potential for damaging the essence of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the risk to horse riders due to the proximity of the site to a bridlepath, harm to tourism generally and local enjoyment of the area.
“A great potential for economic development is provided by the national designation of the Wolds as an AONB. However, I think that we need to conserve the special nature of our landscape if we are to fully benefit from this opportunity.
“The Parish Council is keen to work with local businesses for the benefit of the community and is always pleased to discuss proposals for development before planning applications are submitted to East Lindsey District Council.
“While some people including myself consider that turbines can be attractive in appropriate areas, Flintwood Farm is prominent in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and wind turbines are industrial structures which can never blend in.
“The proposed construction of wind turbines was never a ‘NIMBY’ issue. Indeed many local residents would be happy to have a turbine in their ‘own back yard’, but not in such a visually sensitive position.
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