January 11, 2011

Energy firm surprised at planners’ reasons for wind farm refusal

Scunthorpe Telegraph, www.thisisscunthorpe.co.uk 11 January 2011

Bosses at the firm behind the rejected Saxby Wold wind farm say they are considering their options after planners revealed their reasons for refusal.

North Lincolnshire Council refused the application for 18 wind turbines by RWE npower Renewables on the grounds it would harm the visual landscape.

Clare Wilson, development manager of Saxby Wold Wind Farm, said: “We are surprised by the reasons for refusal, particularly as the scheme was recommended for approval by North Lincolnshire Council’s own head of planning.

“With any wind farm, a key consideration is always the potential impact on landscape and prior to our application being submitted, RWE npower renewables carried out extensive landscape and environmental studies.

“We believe we designed a wind farm that was appropriate for the area in terms of location, number and size of turbines.

“This was further verified to us after we received no objections from statutory consultees.

“We do have the right to appeal this decision, which will incur costs on both sides and we are currently considering our options.”

But environmentalists have hailed the decision as a victory for North Lincolnshire.

David Rose, chairman of the northern Lincolnshire branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, said: “We’re delighted as an organisation in terms of the aims of protecting the landscape and environment of North Lincolnshire.

“This wind farm would have been highly detrimental to the area.”

Saxby residents united to form pressure group Saxby Wold Against Turbines (SWAT) and had been rallying against the application from an early stage.

Lee Collins, of the SWAT committee, said: “There are lots of strong arguments against this and it’s fair to say the council could include a lot of reasons as well as the main one which they’re pushing.

“You cannot mitigate against the visual impact of such large structures in the open countryside.”

But others see the wind farm as a missed opportunity. Jan Clark, North Lincolnshire spokeswoman for Friends of the Earth, said: “We were very disappointed that this application was refused because the site did seem ideal for a wind farm.

“We are going to move towards a more sustainable way of life in the future and wind power will play a big part in that.”

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2011/01/11/energy-firm-surprised-at-planners-reasons-for-wind-farm-refusal/