Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh and the chairman of the local council’s planning committee have both backed the Government’s decision to reject the controversial Hemswell Cliff wind farm after a public inquiry.
Sir Edward and West Lindsey District Council planning committee chairman Stuart Curtis spoke out after it was revealed that the eight-turbine plan can’t now go ahead.
They were delighted that RW Innogy’s scheme opposed by thousands of local campaigners on farmland beside the busy A15 11 miles north of Lincoln has been turned down.
A decision has been announced by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark MP.
He has refused permission for the wind farm development at Hemswell Cliff – opposed by Mr Leigh for the past three years.
Veteran MP Sir Edward said: “I’m delighted that the minister has backed local residents as well as the original, unanimous decision of West Lindsey District Council’s planning committee.
“We owe a lot to people in and around the villages of Hemswell Cliff, the Villages of the Cliff Against Turbines group for their strength and determination in securing this result.
“The Government has been keen to ensure that local decision-making is backed up and that big energy companies don’t prolong the process through expensive appeals.
“This is an excellent result and will help preserve the beauty of our Lincolnshire countryside.”
“A public inquiry met for several sessions over a eight days in late January and into early February 2015. Initially a decision was expected in mid-June, but timescales slipped and a decision was issued today.
“Councillors on West Lindsey District Council were completely right in refusing the application and Greg Clark has shown that this government is going to listen to local people in the countryside who don’t want to have their landscapes blotted by these alien structures.
“I am pleased to have played my part in championing the protections of the big skies of Lincolnshire.”
Councillor Curtis said: “Whilst the proposed development would have made a significant contribution to the supply of electricity as part of a mix of renewable resources in West Lindsey the combined adverse impacts in terms of harm to the landscape character and to visual amenity would significantly and demonstrably outweigh such benefits.”
The original proposal by RWE Innogy UK Ltd. was for the erection of a ten-turbine wind farm at Hemswell Cliff.
The applicant appealed and the Planning Inspectorate began the process for a public inquiry.
The applicant decided to submit an amendment for the scheme to reduce the number of turbines being considered to eight, this was agreed by the inspector to be considered.
In July 2014 the Secretary of State announced that the determination would be made by the minister and later that year, in September the Planning committee at the council considered and rejected the alternative scheme.
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