Sir Edward Leigh MP has stepped in to oppose wind turbines at the highest level of Government after plans for wind turbines near Hemswell Cliff took a new turn.
Plans for 10 wind turbines – taller than Lincoln Cathedral – were thrown out by West Lindsey District Council in November after more than 450 people turned out for a meeting at Lincolnshire Showground’s Epic Centre to oppose the scheme.
Councillors said the development would significantly intrude upon and dominate the setting of nearby heritage assets, cause significant harm to archaeological sites in the area and have an adverse visual impact on the setting and appearance of local landscape character.
More than 2,000 people objected to the proposal and there were about 900 letters of support.
But, the company behind the plans, RWE Group, have now launched an appeal with the Government’s Planning Inspectorate to have the decision overturned.
Sir Edward this week wrote to Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, seeking his intervention in the Hemswell Cliff wind farm saga.
In his letter to the minister, Edward Leigh noted 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.
He 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,”
Sir Edward warned in his letter. “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.”
A previously reported, planning applications which would see a single wind turbines, standing at more than 100 metres tall near South Kelsey and Caistor are expected to be considered by West Lindsey District Council planners this month.
There are also further plans pending for two 67-metre tall turbines on the edge of Brookenby.