The developer behind the controversial wind farm proposal at Hemswell Cliff has hit back at claims the farm will damage the environment, adding the project will create local jobs and benefit community groups.
The move follows a decision by secretary of state Eric Pickles calling in the proposal from RWE Innogy UK following campaigns from local residents opposing the wind farm which would see ten turbines taller than Lincoln Cathedral.
Neil Parnell, the company’s developer for the site, said: “Onshore wind is one of the most cost-effective low carbon technologies available and is supported by a staggering 70 per cent of the population according to the recent Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) tracker1.
“If consented Hemswell Cliff Wind Farm could supply the equivalent of between 10,000 and 15,000 homes per annum with cleaner, greener energy,” he said.
“In addition, we expect the wind farm to bring around £10m of investment through UK construction contracts and a further cash injection of around £100,000 into local community projects each year. RWE as a company is strongly dedicated to maximising local economic benefit, jobs and planning gain for the local community.”
He added: “The site is ideal for a wind farm with excellent road access, good wind speeds and a suitable connection to the electricity grid. It has been designed in such a way it won’t interfere with the amenity of the local community, who we have consulted with extensively.
“Whilst we are aware of the local MP’s opposition to the wind farm we are confident Eric Pickles will determine the application in line with planning policies, taking account of the planning merits of the scheme, as he is legally obliged to do so.
“This proposal deserves to be granted planning permission, with all the local economic and wider environmental benefits that will flow from that.”
However, with Minister Pickles now making the decision, Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh has said he is very confident the minister will deliver a result which reflects the very strong opposition the wind farm proposal has faced.
“I have visited the site, spoken to local parish councillors, and read the letters in my in box. Local residents and other concerned parties are almost entirely against it.”
“While a rejection isn’t in the bag yet, it’s testament to the hard work put in by Villages of the Cliff Against Turbines and others to make sure this devastating proposal doesn’t go through. West Lindsey was completely right in refusing the application, and Eric Pickles has been vocal in backing up local decision-making,” the MP said earlier this week.