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Protesters ‘delighted’ as plan for wind turbine north of Grantham rejected

Plans for a single wind turbine to be built north of Grantham were overwhelmingly rejected by councillors amid strong opposition from local people on Tuesday afternoon.

The turbine was proposed to be built on land off Green Lane in Marston and would have stood 74m from ground to tip.

A speaker for the applicant, Yew Tree Farms, told the planning committee the turbine would have created enough electricity to power 300 homes for a year.

South Kesteven District Council’s planning officers had recommended the turbine for approval, despite admitting “there would be a harmful impact but that harm has been judged to be less than substantial”.

Those standing in opposition to the proposal were supported by comments from English Heritage which warned the turbine would have a “harmful effect on the setting and significance of a number of highly graded, nationally important designated heritage assets” including Belton House, Bellmount Tower, The Church of St Mary at Marston and The Church of St Peter at Foston.

Six speakers made speeches against the proposal citing a variety of factors from causing crashes on the A1 to the negative impact on surrounding businesses including Wagtail Fishery, QK Cold Stores and Marston Trailers.

Councillors and speakers also voiced concern about the landowner themselves.

One speaker, Patrick Trainer, described the proposal as a “sloppy and cynical application from a faceless, absentee landowner”.

Emma Winter spoke on behalf of the applicant. She said: “Due to the scale of the turbine it is unlikely to have a significant impact on the landscape, character or visual amenity of the area.”

Miss Winter was pressed by councillors for more information about the applicant but replied that they are a “private person” who “should not have to explain themselves”.

Coun Kayberry-Brown was the most outspoken committee member against the proposal.

She said: “I don’t consider this turbine is going to do anybody any good whatsoever, however many kettles it is supposed to boil, except the farmer concerned.”

Councillors voted by 14 votes to two in favour of rejecting the proposal.

Speaking after the meeting, Jill Rose of anti-wind farm campaign group Belvoir Locals Oppose Turbines (BLOT) said: “We are delighted the councillors agreed with our views and those of English Heritage and the National Trust that the harm done to the heritage and landscape would far outweigh any benefit from the de-rated wind turbine.

“We would also like to thank the villagers of Marston and Foston who were all right behind us.”