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No to turbines

A controversial application for wind turbines near to a village is now being opposed by the MoD – and council officers say it should be turned down.

Ermine Farms Ltd has submitted an application to West Lindsey District Council to put two 35m turbines at Heath Farm in Normanby by Spital – even though a planning committee turned down its previous, identical, application earlier this year.

The pig farmer’s first application had been recommended for approval by WLDC officers but councillors turned it down saying turbines would have a “detrimental impact on the visual amenity of the open area”.

But this application has been recommended for refusal by WLDC officers who say they are mindful of the previous decision.

And now, to make matters worse for Ermine Farms Ltd, the MoD says it is objecting to the turbines proposal.

In a statement to WLDC, MoD safeguarding assistant for wind energy, Debi Parker said: “The turbines will be 23km from, detectable by, and will cause unacceptable interference to the ATC (air traffic control) radar at RAF Waddington.”

Ms Parker went on to say the turbines could create “false” aircraft being displayed on the radar and might result in some aircraft not being detected by the radar. Controllers use the radar to separate and sequence both military and civilian aircraft.

A campaign group set up to fight the applications is concerned about the impact turbines would have on wildlife, horses, house prices and views of the open countryside.

Campaigner Richard Armstrong said it was “superb news” that the latest application had been recommended for refusal but would still be presenting a case to WLDC’s planning committee before they have to make a decision.

A supporting statement in Ermine Farms Ltd’s planning application said: “Pig farming in the UK has come under increased pressure from rising feed costs and retailers are seeking to ensure high environmental performance of their suppliers and are keen to see onsite energy generation.”

West Lindsey District Council’s planning committee is due to determine the application during a meeting at Marshall’s Yard, Gainsborough on Thursday, April 25 .