March 17, 2011

Wind farm refused

Lincolnshire Echo, 16 March 2011

Campaigners are celebrating after a proposal for a wind farm at Orby Marsh was turned down by planners.

Members of East Lindsey District Council’s planning committee went along with the officer’s recommendation to refuse the application on the grounds of “cumulative impact” on the area, given the number of consented and proposed developments both on and off-shore.

The application for nine turbines on land off Marsh Lane, at a height of 81 metres, was the third to be made by Mark Caudwell since 2003, the latest one seeing reductions in both the number and height of turbines in an attempt to appease planners.

However, objection was strong in the local community, with more than 500 letters being received by ELDC against the plans. There were 230 in favour.

Addressing the committee, objector Geraldine Smedley said: “Is Lincolnshire to become a dumping ground for these industrial units?

“Ladies and gentlemen, your duty of care is not just to us, but to the district, residents, the tourism industry and the wider community of Lincolnshire.”

Almost all members of the committee spoke in agreement with the officer’s recommendation. However, an alternative proposal for approval was put forward by Councillor Daniel Simpson, although this was unsupported.

Mr Simpson said: “I don’t think we have sufficient evidence to refuse this application on the basis of cumulative effect.

“If this went to appeal, I don’t think we would succeed.”

A vote to refuse permission was carried, with nine out of ten committee members in favour.

Chairman of the Orby Wind Farm Action Group (OWAG), Gill Watson, said: “On behalf of OWAG, we are delighted that the planning committee upheld the officer’s decision to refuse this application.

“A great deal of the credit for this decision must go to the local residents who, in their hundreds, wrote in to ELDC and expressed their opposition.

“We are now hopeful that after nine years this decision will bring an end to this unwanted and ineffective venture.”

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Caudwell said: “I was surprised by the officer’s recommendation and do not believe it can stand up.

“I will be seeking legal advice, but am expecting to appeal.”

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