A senior councillor worried by the surge of applications to put up wind turbines in rural Leicestershire, including the Melton borough, is lobbying the Government to re-think its policy on large and medium-sized structures.
Acting deputy leader of Leicestershire County Council Byron Rhodes, who is also leader of Melton Council, says while he supports the need for renewable energy sources he’s very concerned at the prospect of wind turbines rapidly spreading across the Leicestershire countryside, blighting the landscape and impacting upon people’s lives.
Mr Rhodes said one of his biggest fears is wind turbines spreading into the picturesque Vale of Belvoir whose residents he represents on the county council.
A motion proposed by Mr Rhodes, urging the Government to review its wind turbine policies, was passed by County Hall last Wednesday (Dec 5).
As well as making leading ministers aware of the council’s concerns about the potential damage a proliferation of turbines could cause to Leicestershire’s rural landscape, the motion also expressed the council’s belief that smaller turbines below 15m would be more acceptable and that turbines shouldn’t normally be built within two kilometres of homes.
Presenting his motion, Mr Rhodes said: “What people are protesting about is the large and medium turbines. Wherever you put them they dominate and the applications for them are coming thick and fast.
“So far most are being refused but the appeal process could change that and we could see a proliferation. That would be a disaster for our countryside.”
Recent planning applications turned down by Melton Council’s development committee include proposals for a 77m-high (252ft) turbine at Hindle Farm in Thorpe Arnold, 77m-high turbine at Park Farm in Thorpe Satchville and a 46m-high structure at Hall Farm in Thorpe Satchville.
Appeals are already underway regarding both Thorpe Satchville schemes.
Peel Energy confirmed this week it was still considering whether to appeal Melton Council’s decision to refuse its planning application for a nine-turbine wind farm earmarked for land between Asfordby Hill and Ab Kettleby.
Ecotricity, which was granted permission to erect nine turbines near Old Dalby two years ago, has previously said it hopes to bring its scheme forward in the near future.
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