A wind turbine with a blade tip height of 58 metres sited close to designated areas of sensitive ecology for wildfowl in Lincolnshire was rejected by an inspector.
The farmland appeal site lay just over 2km from an estuary designated a special area for conservation, a special protection area and RAMSAR site of international importance as a habitat for waterbirds and pink-footed geese. Natural England disputed the appellant’s assessment of the risk of birds colliding with the turbine being limited to three birds per year, and also the extent of wildfowl habitat disturbance. Applying the precautionary approach advocated in European case law and attributing significant weight to the potential harm to nature conservation, the inspector concluded this damage outweighed the benefit of renewable energy generation equivalent to the average annual electricity needs of up to 131 homes. Added to this, she found some harm to landscape views identified by the local community and which had not been addressed, meaning the proposal would not comply with the transitional arrangements set out in written ministerial statement. She dismissed the appeal.
Inspector: Anne Jordan; Written representations
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