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Energy giant must add bird diverters to Lincolnshire weather mast

Bird-diverters are to be placed on all guy wires supporting a weather mast at Wainfleet St Mary after a previous planning condition was upheld.

RWE npower Renewables applied to East Lindsey District Council to vary a condition which ordered the diverters to be on all wires, instead requiring them to be installed on only the outer ones.

The energy company built the anemometer – used to monitor wind – on land at New Road earlier this year but initially failed to place bird diverters on any of the guy wires.

Following a visit from East Lindsey District Council’s enforcement team, the company then placed deflectors on the outer guy wires only and instead submitted an application to vary the condition. ELDC’s planning committee last week refused the application on the grounds that the original approval conditions should be upheld.

The original mast application had been refused by ELDC’s planning committee but was overturned on appeal and it was a condition of the planning inspectorate that the deflectors should be placed on all guy wires.

Councillor Fiona Martin said: “I cannot see that anything has changed since the inspectorate made the decision she has done so I would propose refusal.”

Councillor Hazel Newcombe said: “The conditions were there for a reason and I cannot see that anything has altered.”

Speaking at the meeting, Wainfleet Wind Turbine Action Group chairman Diane Wrisdale asked the application be refused on the grounds that the site’s close proximity to the Wash meant it was an important area for large number of birds and the mast was in their flight path.

Project developer Chris Nunn from RWE, apologised for the concern the mast had caused.

He added: “When the mast was erected, 72 diverters were fitted to the guy ropes. Unfortunately, although acceptable from an ornithological perspective it was not in accordance with the planning condition.”

Reacting to the decision after the meeting, Mr Nunn said: “We are disappointed that this planning application has been refused and we will now consider our next steps.”

But action group vice-chairman Melvin Grosvenor said: “We are very pleased with the outcome, the fact of the matter is they should never have gone back to try and vary the condition.”