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Wind turbine protestors call on Melton Council to take stand

Wind turbine protestors are calling on Melton Council to take firmer and faster action to stop them spreading across the countryside.

The calls have come in the wake of the most recently submitted planning applications to put up a single 87m high turbine at Crosher’s Farm, off Melton Spinney Road, Thorpe Arnold, and proposals to put up 60m high and 40.5m high wind speed monitoring masts at Wycomb Fields Farm, Scalford, and on land to the south of Old Dalby Grange, Old Dalby, respectively.

Both of the test mast applications reveal an intention to subsequently press ahead with plans to build single wind turbines.

A number of other borough sites have already been earmarked for wind turbine schemes, of varying size, with some currently at the planning appeal stage. Other smaller farm-based wind turbines are already in operation.

The Leave Our Landscape Alone (LOLA) lobby group has been fighting plans to put up a 77m-high (252ft) high wind turbine at Hindle Farm, Melton Spinney Road, Thorpe Arnold. That scheme was rejected by Melton Council’s development committee but it is now among a raft of applications which have gone to appeal.

As reported in the Melton Times in October, Melton Council is looking to draw up some new guidance to help it deal with future planning applications for wind turbines. A Supplementary Planning Document would advise potential applicants and could form part of the council’s Core Strategy but there are concerns about how long this process could take.

LOLA member Stuart Lomas said: “The council has to act quickly to prevent more applications coming in. We have grave concerns how long it will take to produce and adopt a Supplementary Planning Document. This work needs to be done as a matter of high priority.”

Fellow group member Ed Smiley-Jones added: “We’re not against renewable energy but when you start planting wind turbines close to communities that’s when it starts to get unpalatable and unfair.

“The council needs to act quicker and say to people enough is enough. Red tape is slowing things down.

“The council needs to be bold and make a strong statement that it’s not right, as other authorities have done.”

Melton Council leader Byron Rhodes has previously voiced his concerns and is lobbying the Government to re-think its policy on large and medium-sized turbines.

He said: “I’d consider a 87m high turbine to be a gross intrusion on the landscape in this location (Crosher’s Farm). If a planning application is received I shall oppose it.”