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Councillors turn down wind turbine plans on three sites in Fenland

Plans to erect wind turbines on three separate sites in Fenland were all turned down by councillors this week – because of the visual impact they would create on the landscape.

Farmer Hugh Whittome wanted to erect a 46m high turbine at Floods Ferry in March; Richard Moore Engineering had applied for permission to build a 55m high turbine on an industrial site at Creek Road in March; and Mark Patrick Ltd was refused permission to erect two 14m high turbines at Birds Drove in Gorefield.

Two of the decisions by Fenland District Council’s planning committee went against officer’s advice, they had been advised to support the applications by Mr Whittome and Mark Partrick Ltd.

Speaking to the committee, Mr Whittome said his energy costs had risen by 30 per cent, threatening the viability of his farm, and the proposed turbine was “appropriate and proportional.”

Doddington Parish Council objected to the plan, but the council had received 11 letters of support. The committee backed Councillor Jan French’s assertion that the proposed turbine would create a detrimental visual impact, and she was concerned about the cumulative effect of turbines on the landscape, and the proposal would damage the council’s core strategy.

Officers had not backed plans for the Creek Road turbine proposal, saying it would be a dominant visual feature that would “overpower sensitive adjoining residential locations.”

Addressing the committee, Richard Moore said the proposed turbine would create jobs. But 22 letters of objection were received, and Cllr French said: “This time the officers have got it right.”

Nine letters of objection were received in regard to the two turbines at Birds Drove, Gorefield. But officers had said “the proposal will not have an adverse impact on the rural character of the area or any nearby residential properties.”