A controversial plan for a 102-metre wind turbine has been blocked by the Secretary of State.
Determining EDP Renewables’ appeal, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Greg Clark backed up West Lindsey District Council’s decision that the turbine would result in ‘unacceptable’ harm to the Caistor Conservation Area and that it would have a detrimental visual impact upon the views and setting of the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The green energy firm wanted to put up the turbine at the end of Moor Lane next to Caistor Equestrian Centre - but many residents objected and even called an emergency public meeting with leading authority on wind turbines, Melvin Grosvenor.
Mr Grosvenor said: “It’s a good result and quite honestly, as far as I’m concerned, if that had been approved it would have really, really damaged the historical setting of Caistor for many, many years.
“I congratulate the local community for standing up for themselves, with guidance, and taking the lead.
“Now they’ve got the result we were expecting to receive.
“It could have been a huge problem. I’m extremely pleased it has been refused. It’s the right decision.
“They’re substantial structures, they’re big machines - it’s an industrial machine.
“This application put a lot of residents under an enormous amount of strain.”
Moor Lane residents said the turbine would be too close to their homes and that the road surface in the lane would not be able to cope with the additional transport that would result from a turbine being put up.
Lesley and David Kendall live in the house closest to the proposed turbine site and said it would have had an ‘immense’ impact on their lives.
And WLDC councillor Angela Lawrence said she had spoken to just one resident who was in favour of the application while ‘dozens’ who were against it.
The application was determined by the Secretary of State after a request by MP Sir Edward Leigh- normally appeals are dealt with solely by the Planning Inspectorate.
In this case the Secretary of State considered the planning inspector’s report before making a final decision.
The report, which recommended the appeal should not succeed, stated: “The production of electricity, sufficient to provide power for up to 600 households, is a very significant factor in favour. Against that, there would be a significant adverse impact on landscape character and visual amenity in views from and towards the AONB.”
In its appeal, EDP said WLDC’s reasons for refusal could not be supported.
It said: “The proposal will not result in a significant effect on the setting of the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB, nor will it result in harm to the significance of the heritage assets in the vicinity of the site.”