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Council leader ‘disappointed’ at 22-turbine wind farm decision at East Heckington

The leader of North Kesteven District Council (NKDC) has expressed her disappointment at the decision to allow a 66MW wind farm to be constructed at East Heckington.

Marion Brighton and NKDC’s planning committee objected to the plans last August on the grounds of the harmful effects the development would cause to the historical fenland environment.

Mrs Brighton told the Target: “We are very disappointed by this decision, because local people – who we are elected to represent – have not been listened to.

“Let us not forget that the nearest resident of the proposed site is just half a mile away.”

Lincolnshire County Council have previously publicised their tough stance against on-shore turbines being built in the county and a recent survey of Lincolnshire residents showed that 90 per cent backed the council’s stance on more being built.

However NKDC didn’t feel they had the authority’s support in relation to the Heckington Fen plans.

Mrs Brighton added: “We believed that Lincolnshire County Council – whose vehement opposition to wind turbine policy in this county has been well publicised – did not support North Kesteven District Council on this matter at all.

“Fenland is a very important category of land. We should not dismiss it and its inhabitants, just because it is flat.”

In response to NKDC, Martin Hill, the leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: “We’re sure many local residents will be disappointed with this decision. It’s because of situations like this that the county council felt a responsibility to take action against the unrestrained invasion of wind farms across Lincolnshire.

“We aren’t asking for a blanket ban on wind farms, but we do need to make sure we balance our need for green energy against inappropriate developments that ruin the very environment we’re trying to protect.

“We’re confident our guidelines will help bring that balance, and hope that the district councils will work with us on what is an important issue for many residents. If local planning authorities take on board the results of our recent survey, as residents have asked, it should give them a firmer basis for refusing these applications.”

Heckington resident John Bennett, 75, has expressed support for the decision and believes the country should be embracing modern ways of generating power.

Mr Bennett said: “I am very much in favour of alternative energy in all its many formats.

“I cannot see that the wind turbines are any more or less “ugly” than the pylons that are scattered around the county.

“We should be proud that we can play a small part in sustaining the future of energy.”