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Gainsborough: MP Sir Edward Leigh urges for intervention into the appeal for a wind farm at Hemswell Cliff

Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh is urging for intervention in the Hemswell Cliff wind farm planning appeal.

RWE Innogy UK, formerly known as npower renewables, has confirmed that it will be appealing the decision to refuse planning consent for its proposed Hemswell Cliff Wind Farm.

The proposed scheme, located 13 km east of Gainsborough, was refused by West Lindsey District Council’s Planning Committee at its meeting in October 2013.

In response to the appeal Sir Edward Leigh has written to Eric Pickles stating the wind turbine proposal at Hemswell Cliff provoked “substantial resistance from local residents and other concerned people, verging on the unanimous.”

He voiced his own “deep-seated opposition” to the proposal and raised the alarm regarding RWE’s appeal.

Sir Edward Leigh said: “There is a very real risk of the principles of localism and subsidiarity being significantly undermined if deep-pocketed groups like RWE are capable of spinning out the appeals process to such an extent that district councils and the concerned parish councils feel they cannot feasibly compete.”

“Alongside concerned residents and other local people, they may be intimidated into silence or inaction by the deep resources of such groups.”

Sir Edward asked the Secretary of State to intervene to “ensure that the wishes of local residents are heeded, that the very fair decision of the planning committee of West Lindsey District Council is upheld, and that the principles of localism are respected.”

Neil Parnell, RWE Innogy UK’s developer for the proposed Hemswell Cliff Wind Farm, said: “We were disappointed with the decision of West Lindsey’s Planning Committee to refuse Hemswell Cliff planning consent.”

“We firmly believe that this is a good site for a wind farm with suitable road access, good wind speeds and a suitable connection to the electricity grid.”

“Having engaged with the community throughout the process, we have developed a wind farm that we believe is both well designed and suitable for the area. There is also considerable support for the scheme, with over 900 letters of support having been received by the Council. We therefore believe that this site will stand up to the scrutiny of an appeal and planning inquiry.”