Campaigners against plans for a six turbine wind farm development at Croft say it “beggars belief” that an important document has not been included with the planning application.
East Lindsey District Council has ‘stopped the clock’ on REG Windpower’s Bank House Farm proposals after it was discovered an archaeological evaluation had not been carried out, despite advice from Lincolnshire County Council’s historic environment team back in March.
A county archaeologist, replying to a scoping request for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) told REG Windpower that a desk-top assessment and geophysical survey were needed because of “archaeological potential in the area of the development.”
Planning team leader at ELDC, Chris Panton, said: “The EIA regulations allow the council to suspend processing of the application while the necessary details relating to archaeology are supplied to the council.
“Until the additional information is supplied no decision will be made on the application.”
Chairman of the Croft Wind farm Action Group (CWAG), Melvin Grosvenor said he believed this was a serious issue and did not instil any confidence with the developer.
He said: “They have either done it and not submitted it or not done it; either way it’s pretty poor.
“This is a serious omission and it just proves to me the developer is flying by the seat of its pants and hoping no-one would notice and hoping they will get away with the development.”
Despite the missing archaeological evaluation, historic environment officer Jan Allen, has still raised concern about the impact of the plans.
She said: “In our view the scale in height of the proposed turbines will impact on the setting of these buildings and will also be seen on approach from the sea from which they will appear to dominate the landscape of the area.
“Currently there are few structures in the landscape of any great height, 19th century historic windmills and church towers are currently the tallest structures, but these will be dwarfed by the height of the proposed turbines.”
REG Windpower’s development manager for the Bank House Farm project, Tracey Siddle, said: “Wind farms are complex planning applications so it is far from unusual for a council to request further information.
“It is worth bearing in mind that the planning application runs to three volumes already, to include comprehensive studies demonstrating that this is a suitable site to generate a significant amount of safe, clean, energy.”
She urged anyone wanting more details on the proposals to visit www.bhfwindfarm.co.uk