A renewables firm has announced that its plans for eight wind turbines on farmland near Gainsborough in Lincolnshire have been shelved.
Two different wind farm developers have brought forward schemes for the proposed Brown’s Holt project between Corringham and Yawthorpe villages inn the past five years.
But now RES has announced the withdrawal of its planning application to West Lindsey District Council – claiming it would have invested £9 million into the local community over its 25-year lifetime.
RES has claimed it has pulled the scheme because of local planning barriers and in the light of the Government’s prioritisation of more expensive and more polluting forms of energy generation.
The company’s development manager Chris Banks said: “Withdrawing the Brown’s Holt Wind Farm planning application has been a difficult decision and not one which RES has taken lightly.
“This is particularly given the local support for the project and the substantial benefits it would have brought to the area, including cheaper electricity bills for local residents.
“However at the current time the UK Government is not giving new onshore wind farms fair access to the energy market – access already provided to more expensive and more polluting forms of generation.
“On top of this, despite the local support for the Brown’s Holt project, West Lindsey District Council is not promoting onshore wind sites in its Local Plan.
“So sadly we are no longer able to progress Brown’s Holt.”
If approved, the scheme would have generated enough electricity to power 11,500 homes – or just under a third of the houses in West Lindsey.
Back in June 2011, SSE Renewables’ proposals for a 17-turbine farm between Yawthorpe, Aisby and Corringham caused uproar and a residents’ action group was formed to fight the plans.
But SSE gave up and the scheme – after it was amended to 12 turbines – was transferred to Hertfordshire-based RES, who now want to scale it back once more.
Each turbine would be a maximum 140 metres height to their tips – higher than Lincoln Cathedral – and 90 metres to their hubs.
“RES would like to thank everyone who has participated in our consultations so far and we really appreciate the tremendous support we have received from the local community. We’re deeply disappointed that we cannot proceed with the project, and we still believe this is an excellent location for renewable energy generation,” Mr Banks said.
“Onshore wind is the cheapest form of all energy generation – including the ‘cleanest’ fossil fuel alternatives.
“If the Government is serious about delivering cheaper energy bills for UK consumers, along with a secure and decarbonised energy system, it makes no sense to prevent well located and locally supported schemes like Brown’s Holt from coming forward.
“We urgently need greater clarity from the Government on the future market for the best value low carbon energy generation.”
RES claimed that the wind farm would have invested around £2 million into the local economy during construction and the first year of operation alone, along with a projected £5 million in business rates over 25 years..
Brown’s Holt would also have provided more than £1.5 million in direct community benefits, including an annual Community Benefit Fund of at least £28,800 per year to support local projects and an annual discount of £200 for the electricity bills of almost 180 homes and businesses close to the site.