A mast to measure wind speed has been given the go-ahead by planners despite more than 510 letters of objection.
The application to put up a 50-metre anemometer between Gartree and Lubenham for a year was given the green light by Harborough District Council’s planning committee yesterday night (Tuesday, July 22)
Energy4All’s proposal for the mast has proved controversial because opponents believe it will lead to a wind farm on the farmland.
The energy company has said it wants to place four 125-metre high wind turbines on the land and the mast will test whether it is a suitable location.
Speaking at the meeting, the chairman of Lubenham Parish Council Diana Cook said she was speaking on behalf a large number of objectors.
“It’s hard for us to separate this from what we may expect to follow-on afterwards,” she said.
Energy4All’s development manager John Malone said: “Wind speeds and direction are essential for testing a site for its suitability.”
Supporter Sarah Clarke told councillors she was in favour of sustainable energy and added: “I walk there often. I think that visibility (of the mast] is not going to be a problem.”
Councillors said they had to look at this application on its merits and not what it might eventually lead to.
Cllr Eileen Roeber said: “It’s a measuring instrument and no more. It’s not a wind farm, It’s a scope. It could be that the evidence will show it isn’t an appropriate location.”
Cllr Janette Ackerley added: “There are no planning reasons to refuse this.”
The mast was approved unanimously.
By Alex Blackwell
23 July 2008