A big ‘no’ has been voiced against plans which could have seen four of the largest wind turbines in the country built in a rural landscape in East Lindsey.
East Lindsey District Council’s planning committee were unanimous in their refusal of plans by RWE npower Renewables on land north of Fen Bank near Wainfleet St Mary.
The four 127-metre high turbines received 1,200 letters of objection from local people and four in support.
Diana Wrisdale of the Wainfleet Wind Turbine Action Group said: “This site is in a beautiful landscape with big skies, stunning sunsets and borders the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Wash. To have four 127-metre high turbines – some of the largest in the country – is entirely out of keeping and will industrialise this setting.”
She said some of the nearest houses were just 600 metres away and highlighted inaccuracies in the application including photo montages of the proposed turbines and in the description of the area.
Robin Basten, regional development manager at RWE, called for ELDC to show leadership in supporting renewable energy and to allow a significant investment in the local economy to happen.
He said: “Significant inward investment would be made in consenting this application with £1million spent in the development of this site and £12million being made into the regional economy a year through corporate objectives.”
Ward councillor John Upsall highlighted his concerns, including the impact on local residents living in close proximity to the site, possible land slips from heavy traffic using the Fodder Dyke Bank and Fen Bank and the visual effect on the landscape.
Councillor Laura Stephenson, who proposed refusal, said: “Personally I do want us to have more renewable energy but I do not feel this is into the right site. Local people will have more problems because of those four wind turbines.”
Councillor Terry Knowles said: “These turbines are going to be viewed for miles and devastate the landscape. We should show leadership, but not at the expense of our local residents.”
Councillor Jim Swanson said the whole of the Fodder Dyke Bank was weak and he could not support the application.
Following the decision, Dee Nunn, RWE npower renewables developer, said ELDC had turned down a £12 million investment into the district. She said: “There were no objections to the proposal from statutory consultees such as Natural England and the Environment Agency and we believe this is a well designed wind farm in a suitable location. The decision is disappointing for us as we have spent many years developing the site, working with a wide range of consultees and East Lindsey’s planning department. Aside from reducing our dependence on fossil fuels imported from abroad the wind farm also spelt real opportunities for local businesses and communities. With over £12 million of investment being unlocked if the wind farm were built, the project offers huge potential in terms of local and regional businesses interested in tendering for the construction and operational phases. Wainfleet Wind Farm would also have secured a community benefit fund of up to £300,000 over its lifetime.” Wind farm campaigner Melvin Grosvenor said: “The group has worked so hard to raise all the substantial issues concerned with this planning application. “We will continue to oppose this planning application even if they move to appeal.”
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