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‘Skulduggery’ claim in fresh turbine bid

The developers of a “last-minute” wind turbine plan at Hemswell Cliff have been accused of “skulduggery” by opponents to the scheme.

Ernest Coleman, chairman of the VOCAT (Villages of the Cliff Against Turbines), has accused E NPower Renewables of “sneaking in another application,” which makes it harder for the group to oppose.

This latest proposal involves moving the construction site to overcome council opposition on archaeological grounds and reducing the number of turbines from ten to eight.

“They have sneaked it in at the last minute. It’s astonishing the tricks they get up to,” Ernest said.

The former RNLI officer says the site is of much importance archaeologically, dating back “at least 12,000 years.”

Recently-dug trenches, he says, on the site uncovered 680 ancient artefacts.

“I am convinced this is a massive archaeological site waiting to be discovered,” he said.

Ernest Coleman’s comments come as West Lindsey District Council’s Planning Committee meets tonight, Wednesday, and discusses an officers report, which says the planners would have refused RWE NPower’s revised scheme.

RWE NPower has put forward this latest scheme as an alternative, to be determined at the public inquiry in January 2015, after the original ten-turbine scheme was ‘called in’ by local government minister Eric Pickles several months ago.

The council report says relocating the temporary construction compound “does now address previous concerns with the impact upon important archaeological heritage assets.”

However, the revised scheme “does not address concerns in regard to the landscape and visual impacts of the development.”

“It is concluded that the amended scheme would still have a significant effect upon the setting of a number of designated and non-designated heritage assets, and would lead to substantial harm to the setting of the Grade I listed Norton Place, its landscaped grounds, and Grade II listed gates.

“It is considered that this significant and demonstrable harm would continue to outweigh the benefits of the proposed development,” it said.

“Our biggest struggle is raising funds. These barristers are expensive,” Ernest added.

A spokesperson for RWE Innogy UK, said: “We amended the scheme at our earliest opportunity to address concerns raised by the Council. The amended scheme has been the subject of full Environmental Assessment which has been the subject of extensive public consultation.”