November 30, 2012

Residents vow to fight bid to build wind turbines at former RAF Binbrook in Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire Echo | November 30, 2012 |

New plans have been unveiled for two wind turbines on the site of an iconic Lincolnshire airbase.

The controversial scheme is proposed for the former RAF Binbrook in the heart of the picturesque Wolds.

The application comes weeks after Energy Minister John Hayes spoke out about the growing number of onshore wind farms which are being “imposed on communities”.

But he was last week contradicted by coalition colleagues led by Prime Minister David Cameron, who insisted each application would be considered on its own merits.

Scottish-based Caledonia Wind Power Ltd wants to put up two 25m structures on the former RAF Binbrook – which is now an industrial estate close to Brookenby village.

A consultation exercise has been launched by West Lindsey District Council and residents said they would fight the scheme.

Roger Beecroft of agents Aska Energy confirmed that the turbines – which would generate enough power for at least 646 houses – would be located “as far from other houses as possible” if the scheme goes ahead.

“These turbines are relatively quiet and noise levels experienced at nearby residences will be below 35 decibels, the background noise effectively masking that produced by the turbines,” Aska said in its application document.

“The nearest house is 400m from the turbines which is at the end of Cambridge Crescent.”

Natural England confirmed that the application fell within the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – but did not think it would impact on the landscape.

But local residents disagree.

“If there isn’t already a petition up against this then I’ll make sure there will be,” said Chichester Road resident Jude Brown, administration co-ordinator at CK Polymers on the Binbrook Technical Park.

“This would be just around the back of my house and I just can’t believe anyone would want to put wind turbines there.

“We moved here 19 years ago, not long after the houses were sold off by the RAF.

“Many people like me think it’s a beautiful place – but it won’t be if this is allowed.”

Former Brookenby parish councillor Andrew Robinson is a senior education manager who lives in Cumberland Terrace.

“There will be major opposition to this because it’s in the Lincolnshire Wolds and many people will definitely object,” Mr Robinson said.

“They would cause a lot less disruption than 50 or 60 jets used to when it was an airbase, but this will not be welcomed.”

Developers of a scheme for 10 massive 400ft turbines proposed for Hemswell Cliff – between Gainsborough and Market Rasen – were given a three-months’ extension on their preparations last month.

And an even larger wind farm of 17 turbines of a similar size put forward for Yawthorpe near Gainsborough last year has not reached submission to the district council stage as wind measurements are taken from a temporary mast.

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