Campaigners insist a planning inspector ‘will not write the epitaph’ for East Lincolnshire after a controversial Marsh wind farm was given the go ahead.
National inspector David Pinner has upheld an appeal by applicant Energie Kontor UK to build eight 115m-high turbines on Thacker Bank, north of Gayton le Marsh, despite East Lindsey District Council refusing it last June with one councillor branding it an ‘abomination’.
Though Mr Pinner said he felt that ‘no commercial windfarm could be considered to complement, protect or improve the rural character or appearance of the countryside’, he ruled that nearby residents had ‘no right to a view’ from their homes.
He 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’.
Melvin Grosvenor, of turbine opposition group NOWAG (No Wind Farm at Gayton), said his concerns were not ‘sour grapes’.
“If we felt it was a straight forward fair case then we would take that on board and accept it, but we believe the process was flawed,” he said.
“It’s the wrong decision, there are significant impacts that haven’t been taken into account.
“It will have a massive impact on that area, what we want is natural justice.
“There’s always a worry that others will follow it but it shouldn’t be that one inspector should write the epitaph for the whole of East Lincolnshire.”
ELDC’s Coun Craig Leyland said the authority would be ‘considering what options are available to us’. “We strongly feel that the inspector has made the wrong decision,” he said.
Mr Grosvenor added that NOWAG would be taking their own advice, and would assist ELDC in any way they could.
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.”
Project manager Richard 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.
Money has also been given to 1st Manby Scouts for upgrades to their scout hut and Grimoldby Primary School for solar panels to be installed on the roof.
What do you make of the verdict? Do residents have the right to a view? Comment on this story using the comment box on this page.