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Lincolnshire wind turbine inquiry sparks emotional response from coastal community

Strong views against a decade-long battle over a wind farm in a coastal community were aired during the final stages of a planning inquiry.

The eight-day hearing at Hogsthorpe Village Hall has now concluded on a proposed nine turbine development on land off Marsh Lane, Orby.

Applicant Mark Caudwell appealed to the Planning Inspectorate after East Lindsey District Council refused the application. This is Mr Caudwell’s third attempt for a wind farm on the site.

As the inquiry headed towards its conclusion, the public were given an opportunity to present their evidence as part of the decision process.

Dr John Yeadon of Welton le Marsh said he and his wife Kylie would both be ‘sensitive receptors’ to the development.

He said: “Our lives will be unbearable. My wife and I are disabled. We need a placid, rural environment for health reasons. It is no exaggeration that we would not be able to survive this industrialisation.”

Lincolnshire County Councillor Colin Davie, who is also chairman of the council’s environmental scrutiny committee and a local resident, emphasised the cumulative effect from other onshore and offshore wind farms and those being planned including Tritton Knoll and Croft.

Lincolnshire County Council issued a position statement earlier in the year on future wind farm developments in the county.

Mr Davie said: “Lincolnshire has a positive agenda for renewables with many opportunities in the county but we are very clear that aggressive industrial development in the open countryside that threatens the fabric and integrity of our natural environment must be resisted so future generations can enjoy what we have enjoyed.”

He also read out a letter from MP Sir Peter Tapsell, who described Orby Marsh as a very special area.

He said: “When I drive through my constituency, I see turbines everywhere and they are becoming a highly dominant industrial feature in what is a very rural area.

“I would urge you to dismiss this appeal because of the harm this development would do to the character of the local area, the harm to the setting of the AONB and because it is a poor planning application for a wrong location.”

Peter Smithson, who is a neighbouring farmer to Mr Caudwell, said: “If nine wind turbines are granted, it won’t be long until there are 30. Why should one man’s gain be several people’s losses.”

Some of the speakers, who live close to the application site, informed the inspector on what they believe to be technical errors in documents including the bird survey and map information.

However, a Mr Hutchinson called for the application to be approved.

He said: “”I find turbines beautiful. Turbines are the best thing about the view from the Wolds.

“Are we truly living in the 21st century? For heaven’s sake, look to the future and grant this application.”

A decision is expected later this year or in the New Year.