Turbine plan for marsh villages rolls on despite council rejection

The proposed wind farm at Gayton le Marsh, viewed from 900m.
The proposed wind farm at Gayton le Marsh, viewed from 900m.

PLANS for a controversial wind farm between four marsh villages have been rejected by East Lindsey District Council, though the final decision will still be taken at national level.

Germany firm Energie Kontor plan to build eight 115m-high turbines between Great Carlton, Saltfleetby, Theddlethorpe All-Saints and Gayton le Marsh.

The developer, unhappy with the council’s delay in taking the matter to committee, successfully appealed for a national planning inspector to make the decision leaving the council to act effectively as consultees.

Local farmer Tom Heys, chairman of anti-wind turbine group NOWAG, said the ‘enormous’ turbines would upset the delicate balance of wildlife in the area, ‘ruining open skies and marvellous sunsets’.

Project manager Richard Hind told the chamber of the ‘many benefits’, including power for 9,000 homes and a community fund worth £60,000 a year.

He also stated that local businesses would be supplying the brunt of raw materials.

Much of the final verdict could centre around an ‘abandoned’ old cottage just 440m from the site, although it was confirmed the owner had made contact with the planning department and announced the intention to rebuild it.

Coun Robert Palmer, of North Somercotes, fiercely opposed the ‘abomination’, saying ‘one of the prettiest villages in the area’ (Great Carlton) would be impacted and adding that the construction of an underground power line to Louth would prove ‘one hell of a job’.

Coun Terry Knowles said the people of Grimoldby and Manby lived quite a way away, but ‘frankly didn’t want it’. “I’m rather concerned that an application of this magnitude should be under control of the district council,” he added.

“There’s there’s a large need for renewable energy, but this site doesn’t seem suitable,” said Coun Laura Stephenson, before Coun Jill Makinson-Sanders slammed the plans as ‘creeping industrialisation’ and stated the turbines would dwarf Louth’s St James’ Church (90m).

Coun Jim Swanson proposed a motion that the committee was ‘minded to refuse’ the application, which was passed by seven committee votes to six.

The final decision has been delegated by the Secretary of State to a planning inspector, who will give a verdict in the next few months.