More wind turbines could come to the coastal villages.
As the Marsh Wind Farm Action group prepares to battle ASC Renewable’s plans for eight 105m turbines at William Dawson’s land at Bishopthorpe Farm in Tetney, the Grimsby Telegraph can reveal plans for three more farms – including an extension of the 20 85m turbines at Conisholme – which could still come into fruition.
It comes as East Lindsey District Council’s portfolio holder for economic development, Councillor Craig Leyland, spoke exclusively about the “difficulties” the district council faces in rejecting wind farm plans.
ELDC has not approved planning permission for any wind farms since 2009 – which has cost it more than £200,000 – and this figure could be set to rise as developers launch appeals for wind farm rejections in Gayton and Orby.
Mr Leyland told the Grimsby Telegraph: “We have a good track record. We throw a lot of money at this and we are not shying away from the difficulties these applications bring.
“It is a very resource-hungry issue for us, which we are determined to fund and our track record is reflective of that.
“We will be taking a robust approach to these applications.”
Ecotricity has permission to carry out a scoping exercise at the wind farm in Fen Lane, Conisholme, for five 84m high turbines to be built there – which will cost ELDC an estimated £80,000 to fight.
Gaoh Energy was granted environmental impact assessment (EIA) for five 125m turbines on land to the west of Tinkle Street in Grimoldby and Planit applied for a scoping exercise for ten 125m turbines at Grainthorpe Farm in 2009 – owned by William Dawson’s brother.
When the Donna Nook Coastal Realignment project was approved last year, it cut off four of the turbines, which has delayed the plans.
Permission has also been granted to EIAs for two 36m high turbines in Main Road, Grainthorpe, two 35m at Donna Nook Road, North Somercotes and three 45m turbines near Outholme Lane, Tetney, as reported.
Wind farm campaigner, Melvin Grosvenor, said: “It is a huge issue for the area. Although we don’t know exactly where we are with the other applications and extensions I am mindful that Conisholme will be repowered in time with bigger wind turbines.
“They will be coming towards their shelf-life and I don’t think they will stay with these small ones.”
Amid criticism from campaigners, ELDC has defended allowing the applications to be made rather than placing a “blanket ban” on wind farms in the area.
Mr Leyland continued: “We are prone to wind turbine applications because of our flat landscapes on the coastal marshes and as far as developers are concerned, there is lots of wind.
“We have the resources they need.
“There is also an issue with land values – it is cheaper here than in other areas.
“We are also sparsely populated and the perception might be that companies can progress applications quite easily – how wrong they are.”
ELDC’s core strategy for wind farms includes protecting the district’s “valuable landscape”, “coastal marshes” and “amenities of residents”.
As reported, under new Government proposals, business rates from the farms will be paid to the local planning authority.
If approved, ELDC will get £250,000 a year for 25 years from the Newton Marsh Extension, but Mr Leyland stressed this will not influence its decision.
He continued: “We defend where we reasonably can. There is no advantage to us to have residents who are hacked off.
“In the planning process there are always winners and losers, that is the nature of the beast. But we are so aware of community feeling in respect of wind turbines.
“If we were to state a blanket ‘no’ to wind turbine applications, developers will not come to us for consideration, they can go straight to the secretary of state and the Planning Inspectorate for a decision and we feel very strongly that the decisions need to stay local.”
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