Wind farms “totally at odds” with Lincolnshire landscape, senior Lincolnshire County Councillor says
A senior councillor says that big commercial wind farms in the Lincolnshire countryside are not the answer to cutting carbon emissions because residents and visitors think they are blots on the landscape.
Councillor Colin Davie, executive member for environment and planning at Lincolnshire County Council, has spoken out as people are invited to share their views on the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan.
The draft vision for development in Lincoln, Sleaford and Gainsborough and the surrounding countryside proposes between 1,060 and 1,325 new homes a year to meet the overall construction target of 29,150 properties up to 2040 in an 817 square-mile area.
Do you support plans for commercial wind farms in Lincolnshire. Have your say in the comments here
The plan also includes the need for net-zero carbon homes and “a framework for considering renewable energy infrastructure”.
Cllr Davie said the public put their trust in councils to make sure developments in Lincolnshire are forward-thinking and environmentally beneficial but also appropriate to their surroundings.
He said: “We absolutely support a net-zero carbon Lincolnshire.
“As a council, we are leading the way with a commitment to cut our emissions by 68 per cent by 2025 – five years earlier than the UK Government’s plan.
“But we also have a responsibility to protect our heritage and landscape.
“Therefore, we cannot agree that large scale commercial wind farm developments on county land are the solution.
“Some of the turbines are almost 150m in height – totally at odds with the scenery valued so much by residents and visitors.
“It is important that the public respond to the formal consultation process on matters of concern to them.”
A net-zero carbon home is one that uses renewable energy and energy-efficient insulation to generate no more greenhouse gas than is removed.
The county council believes the best ways to achieve carbon-net zero include ensuring all new build homes are low carbon and have reduced energy costs, and better use of solar panels on homes, brownfield sites and poor agricultural land, before any good quality land is used.
It also supports the expansion of offshore wind farms and the use of new technology such as hydrogen, anaerobic digestion, battery storage and carbon capture.
Cllr Davie added: “On environmental matters, the Central Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Planning Committee needs to ensure it is planning strategically and long-term so we can capture the opportunities of the future, rather than going backwards with outdated technology.
“There are so many possibilities and ways to reduce our carbon emissions that don’t involve blighting our landscape, which our communities have told us many times before – they just don’t want.
“Lincolnshire’s future requires all politicians to plan for a green environment, but one that residents and visitors can continue to enjoy for its beauty and its big open skies.”
Committee chairman and leader of West Lindsey District Council, Councillor Owen Bierley, said suggested changes in the local plan have come after a detailed and exhaustive five-year review to ensure it was in line with current circumstances.
He said: “It’s been a huge challenge to review an otherwise already very good local plan, which has given us some very robust data and clarity of vision to inform a comprehensive plan that I believe is in complete alignment with our shared aspirations for the Central Lincolnshire area.
“With this in place, we need to consult with our residents, partners and developer community to get their take on it and ensure we draw on as many responses and as wide a view as possible.”
The 2017 Central Lincolnshire Local Plan proposed 1,540 homes each year between 2018 and 2040, and the latest version of the draft plan has reduced that annual target.
There is added focus on protecting shopping centres in rural areas by allowing premises to change uses without the need for planning permission.
And RAF Scampton – set to close and be put up for sale by the end of December 2022 – is highlighted as an “opportunity area” in need of a masterplan, prior to any major development.
Visit www.central-lincs.org.uk to take part in the consultation which runs from the end of June.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding