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Campaigners vow to fight on as wind farm appeal launched over Saxby Wold scheme

Objectors have vowed to keep fighting a proposed wind farm development after an appeal was launched against the refusal of planning permission for the scheme.

RWE npower renewables has lodged an appeal with the Government’s Planning Inspectorate in relation to its Saxby Wold Wind Farm plan.

The company wants to site 18 turbines on land west of Brigg Road, Horkstow.

But the plans have twice been thrown out by North Lincolnshire Council’s planning committee, most recently in February.

Councillors unanimously rejected the application because of its perceived impact on the landscape, as well as noise issues and the look of the development.

At the time, RWE npower bosses indicated the firm was likely to contest the council’s decision and that appeal has now been officially lodged.

Now, members of pressure group Saxby Wold Against Turbines (Swat) say they are ready to renew their efforts at a public inquiry into the plans.

Neil Cameron, chairman of the group, said he was disappointed to hear of the appeal but remained confident the original decision would be upheld.

He said: “We will be fighting on.

“I think the council has made its position quite clear and all of the local town and parish councils are opposed to it.

“We will fight on behalf of the residents of the area.

“The council did not reject it out of the blue – it rejected it after very careful consideration of all of the appropriate planning considerations.

“One would hope the council’s considered view would be upheld by a planning inspector.”

Mr Cameron said the group would meet to discuss its approach to the public inquiry, which will take place on a date yet to be confirmed.

He said: “This is a proposal to put enormous turbines on top of the highest hill in North Lincolnshire, where they will be visible for miles in all directions.

“The detrimental effect on the landscape will be enormous and it is not just those living in the locality who will feel it: it is people all over the county.”

Robert Warren, RWE npower renewables developer, said the firm strongly believed the site remained a good location for a wind farm.

He said: “A refusal of planning consent could mean many people, businesses and schools in North Lincolnshire could miss out on the opportunities associated with onshore wind farms.

“However, should the appeal be successful, we are still committed to investing approximately £12 million into the area, providing an annual community fund of around £180,000 and setting up a training and work experience programme.”

North Lincolnshire Council refused permission for a similar application in December 2010.

An initial appeal by RWE npower was withdrawn in order to concentrate on the current, amended application.

A council spokesman said: “North Lincolnshire Council’s planning committee refused this application in February and the council intends to defend this refusal at appeal.”