Councillors deciding on the future of the controversial Lenchwick windfarm will be urged to refuse it at next week’s planning meeting.
ScottishPower Renewables, the company proposing the development consisting of five 126.5 metres turbines, want to build them on land to the east of Bishampton bank and close to a number of Vale villages including The Lenches, Lenchwick, Harvington and Bishampton.
But planning officers at Wychavon District Council have advised members of the development control committee to reject the plans when they are brought before the council next Thursday (January 27) at 2pm.
The reasons for refusal share the concerns of many surrounding villagers who set up their own group Vale Villages Against ScottishPower (VVASP) to object to the plans.
Officers said the proposed wind turbines would lead to an unacceptable adverse impact on the character of the landscape and a visual intrusion.
They are also worried the development would expose nearby homes to excessive and unreasonable levels of noise and the size of the turbines would create an overly imposing, dominating and oppressive visual effect.
The Highways Agency has also raised concerns about the use of the M5 and A46 to deliver the wind turbine components and Worcestershire County Council has objected to the impact construction traffic would have on the maintenance of the existing highway.
Rod Stroud, VVASP chairman, said they were extremely pleased with the recommendation.
“The recommendation to reject the application is one we support wholeheartedly and have been working towards for over two years,” he said.
“Our next steps, in representing local residents, will be to present our objections to the planning committee on January 27 at the full planning hearing. The decision will be the committee’s on the day.
“We urge local residents to attend the hearing to be informed on all details, both for and against the proposals.”
But Lynn Davies, spokesman for wind farm support group BLoW (Back Local Windfarms), said some of the officers recommendations for refusal were simply based on guesswork.
“We call on Wychavon councillors to reject the planning officer’s recommendations,” he said.
“The advice on which they are based is poor and a great deal of public expense can be avoided if common sense prevails.”
Karen Lumley, MP for The Lenches, will speak at next week’s meeting.
Derek Christie, spokesman for ScottishPower Renewables said they would not be commenting until after Thursday’s planning meeting.
The full planning report, including the full reasons for refusal, can be read at www.wychavon.gov.uk/planning.
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