Anti-wind farm campaigners say people power is the only way to stop the “wind turbine invasion” coming to the marsh villages.
Currently, there are six separate plans to erect varying sizes of wind turbines on land between Humberston and Tetney and along fields near North Thoresby, Grainthorpe and North Somercotes – which campaigners say will ruin the “beautiful” agricultural landscape.
Now campaigners are calling on fellow marsh residents to unite with them and make their voices heard at a meeting with MP for Louth and Horncastle, Sir Peter Tapsell at Tetney Village Hall tomorrow at 10.30am.
Marshchapel resident Paul Hicks fears the village will become “squeezed” because if plans go ahead there will be windturbines on land going into and out of the village – and blames what he calls “greedy landowners” who are just “chasing a fast buck” for the problem.
He said: “They alter the environment and do not produce adequate amounts of electricity – despite what the people who want to put them up say. They don’t make any substantial contribution to electricity and we are paying for them as tax payers.
“The only people who benefit from them are the companies and the selfish landowners who are after all the money they can get. In my opinion, they sell off their land and sell out the rest of the community for their own wealth. That is all they are interested in.”
As reported, Lincolnshire County Council unanimously approved windfarm restrictions in June this year and advised the planning authority, East Lindsey District Council, not to grant permission if it failed to meet strict criteria.
Mr Hicks, and other campaigners, blame ELDC for allowing the problem to escalate, adding: “ELDC is a puny little district council. LCC made it clear they think Lincolnshire has their fair share of wind turbines, but what are ELDC doing? Allowing them to go ahead. They are taking advantage of the sparse population of the area which tends to be more elderly people who they think will not obstruct them.”
The applications are at various stages, but those validated include: ASC Renewables’ eight x 105 metres at Newton Marsh, Tetney – next to two other turbines currently under construction by ASC and Anglian Water – and three turbines along the Louth Canal, Fen Lane, North Thoresby measuring 113 metres.
From the Newton Marsh farm alone, ELDC stands to get an estimated £250,000 a year for the 25 year project in business rates.
Operations director for ASC Renewables, Mike Denny, said: “The planning application marks a real milestone. Meeting UK targets for renewable energy provision remains a real challenge and the proposed development at Newton Marsh Extension could play a vital part in this effort.”
Permission has also been granted for environmental impact assessments (EIA) for two in Main Road, Grainthorpe, measuring 36 metres high, two on Donna Nook Road, North Somercotes, measuring 35 metres high, and three 45-metre turbines near Outholme Lane, Tetney. The applications are, in some cases, causing friction between residents and landowners, who have sold their land on to the environment companies.
If the Newton Marsh wind farm goes ahead, ASC Renewables have pledged a £50,000 community grant for the 25-year project.
But this has done little to impress campaigners – including Bourne Leisure, owners of Thorpe Park which is less than a mile away from the farm.
Spokesman Andy Lines said: “We have been overwhelmed by the wave of public anger against this project since it became public only a few weeks ago. People throughout the entire length of Lincolnshire are up in arms.
“Local community groups can count on the support of the hundreds of people who work here and the thousands who holiday here each year to oppose this blight on the landscape.
“This project is unfair, unnecessary and unwarranted. It will do untold damage and bring no real or lasting benefits.”
Another Grainthorpe resident, who did not want to be named, but fought against the 20 turbine-strong farm at Conisholme, said: “We have had enough and must stand up for what we know is right. The applications are coming in thick and fast and at this rate they are going to be in every field from Humberston to Louth. It isn’t fair. We marked on a map where all the turbines will go and it looked like a forest. It is getting very serious.
“We must all get together and fight for our beautiful environment that we live in. If everyone objects and everyone writes and complains, if everyone goes to the planning meetings, it will send out the message that we don’t want them. These big companies just come along into these sparsely populated areas and treat us all as hicks. But we are not. We have people power and they have to listen to that.”
Portfolio holder for economic development at East Lindsey District Council, Councillor Craig Leyland, said: “We fully understand the concerns of residents. All applications are viewed individually and our policies aim to protect our valued landscapes, residents’ amenity and wide open vistas.
“Decisions need to be kept at our local level and we have an excellent record of defending wind farm appeals.”
To view all the applications log onto www.e-lindsey.gov.uk/planning.
The Newton Marsh application is also on display at Humberston Library, Church Lane or East Lindsey District Council Planning Office, Tedder Hall, Manby Park, Louth.
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