Around 100 objectors to a proposed 10 turbine wind farm turned out on the first day of a public inquiry that will determine its fate.
The proposed Saxby Wind Farm, near Horkstow, has been refused planning permission twice by North Lincolnshire Council planning committee.
However, applicants RWE npower renewables have appealed the decision and a three-week public inquiry has now been opened.
David Hardy, representing RWE, addressed the inquiry with his opening statement, in which he said the council’s decision to refuse permission was “muddled” and “beset by a lack of misunderstanding”.
Mr Hardy said that the council was “deliberately hostile” to wind farm developments.
He said: “This remains the best site and the application is in the right place at the right time.
“This is an excellent site for the scale of development which is proposed.
“The scheme would sit comfortably in and be successfully accommodated by the host landscape, comfortably removed from existing residential properties and without any unacceptable harm to cultural heritage assets.
“Some people aren’t going to like these turbines, but that simply isn’t the point.
“Landscape and visual effects are only one consideration to be taken in to account.
“The proposed development would have a negligible effect on landscape features.”
Day one of the inquiry, held at Elsham Hall, saw objectors from the campaign group Saxby Wold Against Turbines (SWAT).
Initially, the developer proposed an 18 turbine wind farm, but this was later scaled back to ten turbines following the council’s decision to allow a 500 cow dairy farm and two residential properties at a nearby site.
The developer says it has plans for a geese refuge if the scheme is approved, but also wants to relocate nearby rights of way.
John Barrett, representing the council, said: “North Lincolnshire continues to make significant contributions to meet regional and national needs for renewable energy and meet the targets set by the Regional and Spatial Strategy.
“There are a number of factors that are in favour of the proposal. However, the benefits of renewable energy scheme should not be to the harm of the community.
“The council’s planning committee was unconvinced that character of North Lincolnshire was correctly taken into consideration.”
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