Melton Borough Council Development Committee has tonight voted 6 to 4, to refuse the application to build 9 wind turbines at Asfordby – despite the recommendation of approval from Council planning officers – at a 3 hour meeting attended by over 100 local residents.
After both STOP (Stop Turbines Oppose Peel) and the applicant Peel Energy had presented their cases, a number of Melton Borough Councillors who were not on the committee, separately addressed them.
Speaking against the application was Labour Councillor Mal Sheldon (Asfordby Ward), and Conservatives Valerie Manderson (Sysonby Ward) and Joe Orson (Old Dalby Ward). The later read an email from the Rt Hon Alan Duncan MP stating his objection. Trevor Moncrieff a Labour Councillor in Asfordby Ward spoke in favour of the wind farm – drawing a hostile reaction from some people in the public gallery.
The ten members of the committee then debated the application, with a host of objections and questions raised. However not everyone spoke against it – Councillor Pat Cumbers said she thought wind turbines were ‘a graceful structure’ and that the wind farm would ‘become a landmark’. Gerald Botterill said he supported the officers advice and was concerned that much taxpayers money would be spent defending an appeal if they refused the application.
After much discussion as to its wording, a motion to refuse the application was tabled by Alison Freer-Jones referencing the heritage and landscape aspects of the site, and saying that the damage to these was not outweighed by the positive aspects of the application. The ten councillors then voted 6 – 4 to refuse the application as follows:
To REFUSE the application
• Alison Freer-Jones – Warwick Ward (Conservative)
• Marilyn Gordon – Dorian Ward (Labour)
• Jeanne Douglas – Craven Ward (Conservative)
• Steve Dungworth – Egerton Ward (Labour)
• Elaine Holmes – Waltham on the Wolds Ward (Independent)
• Janet Simpson – Gaddesby Ward (Conservative)
To APPROVE the application
• Pam Baguley – Long Clawson and Stathern Ward (Conservative)
• Gerald Botterill – Croxton Kerrial Ward (Conservative)
• Pru Chandler – Bottesford Ward (Conservative)
• Pat Cumbers – Dorian Ward (Conservative)
The result was announced to loud cheers from the public gallery, with STOP hailing it as “a great victory”. However this may not be the end of the matter, with many expecting that Peel Energy will appeal the decision to the Secretary of State.
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