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Wind turbine fury at inspector

Campaign groups and councillors have rounded on a government planning inspector for accepting a smaller proposal for eight wind turbines as part of a wider public inquiry into the 10 turbine project at Hemswell Cliff.

The project was called in by Local Government & Communities Minister Eric Pickles after complaints from nearby residents concerning the project from RWE NPower. It will be the subject of a public inquiry in January.

West Lindsey District Council’s planning committee last week backed an officer’s report to oppose the smaller project saying it was just as damaging as the original plan.

Barry Dutton, chairman of Hemswell Parish Council, told the meeting he was “appalled” a legal letter from RWE NPOwer’s law firm Eversheds, just gave the council three weeks to respond to the new project. Thus, it was only able to send 59 letters of objection, compared to the 1,500 sent on the earlier project.

Eric Coleman of VOCAT told members the damage the turbines would cause to archaeological sites was “cultural vandalism on an industrial scale.”

Planning committee members said the smaller plan should have been considered as a separate application to give it and the public more time to comment.

“The Planning Inspector is undermining all councils. It’s an absolute disgrace we are discussing this paper tonight. I want the planning inspector to know I am disgusted at his stance,” said Coun Roger Patterson (Con-Scampton).

Coun Giles McNeill (Con-Nettleham) agreed, saying “these alien structures have no place there (Hemswell Cliff).”

“We should have the opportunity to view this as a full application, if that’s what the developer wants. We haven’t had this right,” said Coun David Cotton (Lib-Dem-Saxilby).