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Energy Bill sparks wind turbine fears

Planning authorities will continue taking a ‘robust position’ against wind farm applications which ‘threaten’ East Lindsey’s character following a tripling of the government’s budget supporting low-carbon generation.

The secretary of state for energy and climate change Ed Davey said the government’s Energy Bill, published last Thursday, would ‘improve certainty’ for investors in renewables and create a ‘thriving low-carbon economy’.

Although he made no specific announcement about the long term plans concerning wind farms, local authorities in Lincolnshire have pledged their commitment to protecting the county from unsuitable turbine developments.

Lincolnshire County Council’s leader Coun Martin Hill said: “We’re not calling for a blanket ban on wind farms – we have a duty to protect the environment and are in favour of renewable energy.

“However, there’s been an invasion of wind farms across Lincolnshire in recent years and we can’t ignore the impact this is having.”

East Lindsey District Council, as the planning authority, has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds fighting appeals against wind farm developers to ‘help protect’ the local landscape.

Although it has a legal duty to consider all applications in line with national policies, portfolio holder for economic regeneration and planning Coun Craig Leyland has reiterated the council’s commitment to safeguarding the district from intrusive development.

He said: “We will continue to take a robust position against any development that threatens the character of our area.”

Wind farm opponents have also expressed concerns about the Energy Bill, which they fear has been monopolised by the wind farm developers.

Campaigner Melvin Grosvenor said: “The wind energy lobby has been extremely active and as far as I’m concerned it is literally like they are holding a gun to the government’s head to force trough their agenda.”

Mr Grosvenor believes that by focussing on the ‘flawed and expensive’ wind farm technology the government is missing its opportunity to invest in other renewable technologies such as tidal power, which could be of greater benefit to the UK’s economy.