June 5, 2012

Government to decide fate of Lincolnshire wind farm plan

Louth Target, www.thisislincolnshire.co.uk 5 June 2012

Plans for eight wind turbines will now be decided by a government appointed inspector instead of by local councillors.

Energiekontor has appealed to the planning inspectorate to make a decision on the wind farm due to non-determination by East Lindsey District Council.

The wind farm is proposed on open farmland near Great Carlton and Gayton le Marsh.

The turbines, if approved, will be up to 115 metres high with blades 45 metres long.

Wind farms at Conisholme and Mablethorpe are also visible from the site.

Richard Hind, project manager for Energiekontor said East Lindsey District Council failed to make a decision within the statutory time period.

He said: “We have lodged an appeal with the planning inspectorate so that the application will hopefully be determined by the end of this year.

“The appeal will set out a defined process to resolve the planning application in a timely manner.

“The application was initially lodged with the local authority in July last year, the statutory timeframe for determining wind farms should be 16 weeks.”

But campaigner Melvyn Grosvenor, who is representing the local action group NoWAG – No Wind Farm At Gayton – said he believes wind farm companies purposely try to take applications out of local control.

He said: “I believe they have planned to do this from day one by not providing the local authority with all the information they need, they are setting them up to purposely take it to the appeal stage.

“This also shows a fundamental flaw in the planning process to determine applications of this scale in the statutory 16 weeks which is the same for all applications.

“This really comes down to big business trying to bully local authorities and local communities into accepting what they want through appeals rather then allowing local democracy to take place. But, as we have seen with Baumber, the companies should not assume it is a foregone conclusion it will get passed at appeal.”

East Lindsey District Council will still have to decide whether or not they would have approved the application.

NoWAG will also have to decide whether to be represented at the appeal which could cost them thousands of pounds in hiring a barrister to represent them.

A spokesman from East Lindsey District Council said: “The district council’s planning committee will shortly be considering a report into this application, which will form the basis of how we approach the appeal.

“In considering any planning application this council will apply the statutory test which is to determine all applications in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise, the government’s National Planning Policy Framework is a material consideration and will be applied as such.”

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/06/05/government-to-decide-fate-of-lincolnshire-wind-farm-plan/