Veteran MP Sir Edward Leigh welcomed a Minister’s decision to reject plans for a 102-metre wind turbine in Caistor.
The appeal by York-based EDP against the rejection by West Lindsey District Council was turned down by Communities and Local Government minister Greg Clark.
Opponents of the turbine, earmarked for land near Moor Lane, argued it would spoil the town’s reputation as an area of natural beauty.
The proposal and subsequent appeal called for the construction of a single 102-metre tall wind turbine on land west of Moor Lane in Caistor.
EDP, a consultancy service which facilitates turbine installation on agricultural land, had been working closely with the owners of Moor Farm over the plans.
The turbine would have had an operational life of about 25 years.
But planning inspector Jean Nowak, writing on behalf of Mr Clark, announced that the appeal would be refused.
She said the turbine would be a “significant distraction” from the area’s natural beauty and “would conflict with the aim of conserving its landscape and scenic beauty”.
Sir Edward, the Conservative MP for Gainsborough, supported local residents who claimed the turbine would have a negative effect on the Caistor Conservation Area as well as the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The MP had written to the Minister asking him to call in the application for his own decision rather than leave the appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.
He said: “Local people are best suited to make planning decisions in our towns and villages, and I am very glad that Greg Clark has backed up the informed decision West Lindsey’s Planning Committee came to. We can’t have energy companies with deep resources intimidating locals through long, drawn-out appeals processes.
“The Secretary of State has used the powers granted to him under the law to determine the course of this application himself, and quite rightly decided in favour of local residents.”
Announcing the decision, Ms Nowak said: “The proposed turbine would be about 2.5km from the centre of Caistor, but its visual impact would be significant because the centre of Caistor is sited on the side of a hill.
“Views of countryside including the appeal site are possible from streets within the town, particularly near the church and from the outskirts of the conservation area.”
She added: “The turbine would be a conspicuous and distracting element seen from this direction which would diminish the contribution that the rural setting makes to its significance. Recognising that the church would be the most obvious feature of the town, this would be particularly noticeable in the evening from near the B1225 when the blades would be stark in silhouette against a bright flat landscape with no other vertical features except the church tower.”
She concluded: “The benefits are significantly and demonstrably outweighed by the disadvantages.
“Moreover, importantly, the council and the overwhelming majority of local people who have made their opinion known, are not satisfied that the planning impacts have been fully addressed.”
The developer can challenge the decision of the Secretary of State in the High Court.
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