Three years ago Melvin Grosvenor won a planning battle against the building of eight 125m turbines near his home in Baumber, Lincolnshire. Today, he is involved in five other campaigns throughout Britain.
So far, Lincolnshire has seen the erection of more than 70 large turbines, while another 118 are in the pipeline, including 30 at Heckington Fen and eight more at Gayton le Marsh, near Mablethorpe, which won through at a planning appeal last week.
The planning inspector’s determination in the Gayton case – who ruled that the local council’s rules were out-of-date, while national targets for wind-generated energy could not be ignored – has left campaigners depressed.
“I doubt that, in the short term at least, alternative technologies for renewable electricity generation will mature to the level that would be necessary to make wind energy unattractive as part of the overall mix,” said inspector David Pinner.
The “additional harm” to the local landscape was “within the bounds of acceptability, especially bearing in mind that after 25 years, the wind farm would be decommissioned and there would be no lasting landscape impact”, he added.
Last year, Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) issued a statement saying it did not want the county covered by “a forest” of turbines, adding that they should not be established within 1. 2m of homes.
“The LCC realised that they need to take a more robust stance against the onslaught that we have been facing here,” Mr Grosvenor, who opposes all turbines whether on land, or offshore, told The Irish Times yesterday.
The East Lindsey council, which had refused planning permission for Gayton, was left furious by the decision, saying it had put forward “a robust argument” against the 115m-high turbines: “We strongly feel that he has made the wrong decision,” said councillor Craig Leyland. Gayton’s developer, Energiekontor – which have other planning applications in England – were, however, delighted by their victory.