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Wind farm plans refused  

Plans for a wind farm near Bottesford have been refused in the last few minutes.

South Kesteven District Council planners refused the application from Infinergy to build 10 turbines at Thackson’s Well.

During the debate on the plan Infinergy chief executive Charles Sandham warned Vale of Belvoir residents of an impending “climate catastrophe” and has asked to “borrow the landscape” for 25 years to help address the issue.

Lead planning officer Mark Shipman told committee members before the vote that the plan was one of national importance.

Speaking to South Kesteven District Council’s planning committee, Mr Sandham claimed the Duke of Rutland supports the plan, which has been opposed by his mother, Frances, Duchess of Rutland.

Other speakers in support of the proposal are Mary Fisher, who conducted the visual impact assessment on the site, and an archaeologist addressing concerns raised by English Heritage.

This afternoon six people have spoken in favour of the plan to build the 10 wind turbines at Thackson’s Well, near Bottesford.

More than 150 people attended the morning session of the meeting which will decide whether a wind farm can be built north of Grantham.

South Kesteven District Council’s development control committee is tasked with deciding whether ten 410ft turbines can be built at Thackson’s Well, in the Vale of Belvoir.

This morning, the committee has heard representations from those opposed to the plans in the ballroom at The Guildhall in Grantham.

Campaign group BLOT – Belvoir Locals Opposing Turbines – put forward five speakers, including Justin Barry, who moved to Allington a few months ago and whose wife suffers migraines caused by excessive noise and light.He is concerned about the effect the turbines could have on her health.

A further 15 speakers, including representatives of English Heritage and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, and four parish councils have spoken against the plans.

Concerns have also been raised about the effect the turbines could have on nearby Roseland Business Park, at Long Bennington, which employs 700 people at 20 firms.

Solicitor John Roberts, speaking on behalf of the Roseland Group, revealed that a planning application has already been passed to allow concrete firm Bell and Webster to build on the site. If the wind farm application was granted, Bell and Webster’s new office would be just 68 metres away from the closest turbine.

He said: “On that application there was a condition that the office building must not be more than six metres high.

“This was deemed by this committee to be necessary in order not to have an adverse effect on the locality.

“It would be irrational and disproportionate to grant permission for these turbines just 68 metres away from the office.”

The proposed wind turbines are 125 metres high.

The meeting has broken for lunch and will reconvene at 1.10pm to hear submissions from supporters of the plans.

If a decision cannot be reached before 4pm, a further meeting will be held next week.

Keep checking back here for updates and the decision as soon as it is made. We are also videoing proceedings and will post our coverage, interviews and reaction later.

By Jo Hall

Grantham Journal

11 March 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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