Plans for a wind farm on a disused mine site are set to be approved despite hundreds of objections.
Peel Energy wants to build nine turbines – each up to 410ft high – on the former Asfordby mine site.
Villagers against the scheme have been backed by two senior members of Melton Borough Council ahead of the authority’s development committee considering the application tomorrow.
Councillors are being recommended to back it by planning officers.
The officials have acknowledged concerns about wind farm’s impact on the landscape, heritage assets and public rights of way. However, a report by planning officer Jennifer Wallism said: “It is considered that benefits of electricity generation outweigh any harm of the proposal.”
The recommendation has prompted anger among residents and councillors, and a protest group was set up to fight the plan.
Asfordby’s county councillor Joe Orson, who also represents Ab Kettleby and Wartnaby on the borough council, said: “Hundreds of residents are vehemently opposed to this intrusion into the countryside.
“Melton Borough Council has invested heavily in the tourism industry, so having wind turbines on the edge of Melton will not help attract tourists.”
Borough council deputy leader Councillor Pam Posnett said: “Speaking as a resident of Ab Kettleby, I am not in favour of wind farms in general.
“I know we need to look at alternative energy sources but there is so much negativity around wind farms. They are a blot on the landscape.”
Chas Edgington, of campaign group STOP, said: “It is an unbelievable decision. I was completely gobsmacked by the recommendation.”
Bill Musson, of STOP, said: “We are shocked the case officer has recommended approval in light of all other elements of local government at county and parish level which have rejected it.
“More than 800 people and businesses are against it and there are very sound planning reasons to turn it down, but these seem to have been glossed over or ignored.”
Peel Energy said the scheme would produce enough energy to supply electricity to 8,500 homes – a third of households in the Melton borough.
The committee will visit the site before the meeting at the council’s Parkside headquarters in Melton at 6pm.
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