The Lincolnshire chair of a rural countryside campaign group believes it is ‘about time councillors and MPs stood up and said this is wrong’ in the wake of a major wind farm being given the go ahead near Louth.
David Rose, the chair of the county branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, has criticised both the planning system and wind farm developers after a national planning inspector overruled East Lindsey District Council and gave the green light for EnergieKontor UK to build a wind farm near Gayton le Marsh.
“What really annoys me if that there’s no consideration given to local views, we’ve seen a number of these being built around the area and the inspectors seem to be completely overriding local views,” he said.
Inspector David Pinner ruled that nearby residents had ‘no right to a view’ from their homes in his verdict which approved the proposal for eight 115-metre high turbines on farmland at Thacker Bank.
East Lindsey District Council refused the application last June with one councillor branding it an ‘abomination’.
But Mr Pinner judged that the wind farm would be ‘within the bounds of acceptability, especially bearing in mind that after 25 years, the wind farm would be decommissioned and there would be no lasting landscape impact’.
Mr Rose continued: “These inspectors probably don’t live anywhere near a wind turbine. People go to live in an area because of what is there at the moment, a 115-metre high wind turbine creates all sorts of wider problems.
“We’re opposing these onshore wind farms on the basis of the impact on the landscape, and we have serious reservations as to whether they are economically viable.”
Mr Rose said he feared energy ratepayers were being left to foot the bill of the wind farm builds, with developers taking advantage ‘wherever they are getting away with it’.
“The rewards are huge financially for them (the developers),” he said.
“It’s about time councillors and MPs stood up and said ‘this is wrong’.
“Government policy allows developers to resubmit schemes and we want MPs to put pressure on the government to give more say to local people.
“We’re obviously sympathetic if wind farms are put in the right place, and we do need a sensible mix of renewable and gas fired energy.
“But certainly in this area they are having an unsettling psychological effect on people nearby.
“The government have to start taking notice.”
Richard Hind, project manager for Energie Kontor UK, said: “The project management team are naturally delighted with the outcome of the planning appeal.
“We have always considered the site at Gayton le Marsh to be a sensible location for a wind farm, the pragmatic approach taken by the Planning Inspectorate has confirmed this suitability.”
Mr Hind said work to construct the wind farm will begin next year, with the first electricity being created by the end of 2014.
Nearby parish councils will share a £60,000 a year community pot for the lifetime of the project.