The government’s refusal of plans to build a new wind farm in Fenland but to approve another at the same time has been branded a disgrace.
Planning Inspector Jill Kingaby said the benefits of building nine 110m tall wind turbines at Flood’s Ferry Farm, near Turves, would outweigh the harm arising but the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has refused the application.
A three-wind turbine farm at Burnt House Farm, near Whittlesey, was given the go-ahead by the Secretary of State as he agreed the plans had economic and environmental benefits arising from the increased capacity for renewable energy generation.
Ian Edgar, FenRats chairman, said: “I don’t see how they can approve of one but refuse the other.
“I don’t understand their mentality and in my opinion the Secretary of State shouldn’t have approved any of them. It’s a disgrace.
“Any appeal should have both sides fairly represented but the inspector has their hands tied. They are advised by the government to recommend plans for wind farms even when they don’t want to.
“It’s a relief that the country has only got to pay for three turbines that are not fit for purpose rather than 12.”
The Local Government Secretary said: “Although the cumulative impact does not constitute a reason for refusing either of the appeals, the material considerations of Floods Ferry Farm do not compensate for the development plan.”
Scottish Power Renewables appealed the decision by Fenland District Council to refuse the Floods Ferry Farm proposal last year after councillors thought it would have a harmful visual impact in combination with existing wind farms.
Ms Kingaby said: “The council’s case suffered serious flaws. It was based wholly upon a visual assessment prepared by the council’s landscape witness which is incorrectly calibrated and unduly pessimistic.”
Both Whittlesey and March Town Councils objected to the applications saying there was “an over intensification of wind farms”.
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