A five year ‘battle’ over plans for eight wind turbines has ended in victory for residents.
It was brought to a conclusion when a Government planning inspector vetoed the plans for Laughton.
Ipswich-based Your Energy saw its plans turned down for the second time, leaving George Love of Laughton Parish Council delighted.
“It is a great relief because it has hung over us like a cloud,” said the former council chairman.
“The effort put in by residents of the surrounding villages over years and years is quite incredible.
“It was like a battle almost, but it was very important to us. We’ve all worked so hard.
“We are over the moon about it, especially as it’s such an unequivocal report by the inspector.”
He said they had been worried about sound from the turbines and the effect on wildlife and birds, as well as its potential to destroy the character of the area.
The report, issued by the Planning Inspector DR Cullingford, concluded: “These turbines would become a new defining characteristic … and thereby introduce prominent uncharacteristic features which would have a ‘significant adverse effect’ on the character of some landscapes.”
Andrea Walker, a member of the Laughton, Scotton and Northorpe Action Group which campaigned against the turbines, added: “We’re very relieved.
“This is nice open countryside. It’s quiet and peaceful and that would have been taken away.
“The other thing was they would be right next to the A159 and there have already been a number of accidents on that road.
“Drivers are automatically drawn to them.
“I would have stopped using that road if the turbines had gone ahead.”
Your Energy’s initial plans for 10 turbines, on the ridge to the north of the village, came to a halt in 2004.
The company appealed, resulting in the Planning Inspectorate, part of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, becoming involved.
After the proposals were turned down two years ago, a new application was submitted, including a reduction in the number of turbines and their position.
This latest decision comes after three West Lindsey District Council Planning Committee meetings ended in deferral over nine months throughout 2007.
Your Energy, however, is still refusing to give up the fight.
“We are stunned by this decision and are undertaking a legal review of its content,” said managing director Richard Mardon.
“The bigger tragedy here is that a wind farm that could provide 7,500 households worth of clean electricity will not be built because of the landscape that the project itself is trying to protect!”
22 April 2008
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