Council advises planners to take tougher stance on wind turbine applications
LINCOLNSHIRE County Council has said "enough is enough" to wind turbines and advised planning authorities to take a harder stance on applications.
After what it describes as a "proliferation of wind farms in recent years", Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) officials have vowed to take a harder stance on wind turbines which are "spoiling our beautiful countryside for future generations", according to a statement by leader Councillor Martin Hill.
It will give lower tier district councils, such as East and West Lindsey – who must legally consult LCC on planning decisions – the chance to use this advice as guidance for future applications, although both have refused.
East Lindsey District Council (ELDC) – which is currently considering four wind farm applications for a total of 24 turbines – has released a statement saying it "will not take a predetermined view".
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ELDC's portfolio holder for planning, Councillor Craig Leyland, said: "When making a decision, first and foremost in our mind is the impact of the application on the local area."
The news comes after a decision over eight turbines on open farmland near Great Carlton and Gayton-le-Marsh was taken out of the district council's hands by the Government's planning inspectorate last month, as it had not made a decision in the statutory 16-week period.
It had been heavily opposed by nearby residents.
A spokesman for West Lindsey District Council – currently considering five applications for a total of nine turbines – said: "Lincolnshire County Council can encourage us to take that stance but the final decision lies with us as the planning authority.
"Each application will be considered on its own merit."
However, Lincolnshire County Council's stance has been welcomed by an anti-wind farm campaign group.
The group drove through Lincolnshire yesterday, with a huge lorry, displaying the caption "Lincolnshire countryside is precious. Help us save it from the industrial wind turbine invasion".
Anti-wind turbine campaigner Melvin Grosvenor parked the lorry in the car park at East Lindsey District Council's Manby headquarters for more than an hour yesterday afternoon.
He said: "Lincolnshire has beautiful open skylines, hills and unspoilt views, but developers would turn it into a massive wind farm if they had their way.
"There are already plenty of turbines – both on and off shore – and this area does more than its fair share for renewable energy.
"This group is about local residents coming together in a united front to say 'enough is enough'."
North East Lincolnshire Council's planning committee chairman Alex Wallace thought it was unlikely that the authority – which can itself grant or deny planning permission – would take the same route.
"It is something that hasn't been as much of a problem in North East Lincolnshire as it has in rural Lincolnshire," he said.
"If the residents bat against an application then I will certainly bat against it, but I don't have an opinion specific to wind turbines."