Turbines would be a ‘disaster’ for village

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A PIG farmer has put in a planning application to put up wind turbines in a rural village – even though one resident was forced to lower the roofline on his two-storey house because it would “spoil the view”.

Ermine Farms Ltd, which owns Heath Farm in Normanby by Spital, wants to put three 35m wind turbines on its land in the village – but residents are furious.

Gary Walker and wife Aderyn said West Lindsey District Council told them to lower the roofline on their Field Lane home by two feet when they built it 15 years ago. This was because it would have been visible from the A15, spoiling the view and not fitting in with the environment.

Gary said: “The views will be dramatically altered with three 100ft turbines in the scenery.”

But Gary’s main concern is about the impact the development would have on the area’s horses and wildlife – which includes lap wings, pheasants, bats and barn owls.

He said: “With the proposed wind turbine development the natural wildlife will be affected and some species will disappear because of the new disturbed environment.”

Gary owns two fields which are one field down from the site of the proposed development. They are used by Holton le Moor riding club for training, club shows and the annual open show, which attracts up to 200 horses.

He said: “It gives members a safe place to ride which gives confidence and pleasure. This will not be the case with three 100ft wind turbines within metres of the area.

“There will be no riding there in the future, or any club events. This will be due to safety reasons.”

Gary said there is evidence to show shadows of the moving blades alarm horses, causing disconcerting and unpredictable behaviour.

Gary said he has spoken to three housing surveyor groups in the area and all agree house values will drop by 10 to 15 per cent – that is equivalent to a combined £3m decrease in value. He described this as “shocking”.

Glynis Dean, who lives in one of the houses closest to the proposed development, said: “It’s a complete nightmare and we’re really quite worried about it.

“We spend a lot of time with our animals. This is serious.”

MP Edward Leigh is opposing the application and said would be a “disaster” if the turbines were put up in Normanby by Spital.

He said it would ruin the views and be visible from the edge of the Wolds and is encouraging residents to set up an action committee.

A supporting statement in Ermine Farms Ltd’s planning application said: “Pig farming in the UK has come under increased pressure from rising feed costs and retailers are seeking to ensure high environmental performance of their suppliers and are keen to see onsite energy generation.

“The applicant is looking to improve the sustainability and long term financial viability of the business by generating electricity onsite broadly equal to the power consumed by the farm.”

It said the slow rotational speed of the turbines would mean it was “highly unlikely” to pose a threat to bird life or bats in the area.

It went on to say: “The proposal would not represent a prominent or visually intrusive feature in the surrounding rural landscape.”

Lincolnshire County Council – which deals with lager-scale wind farm applications – has recently taken a tough stance on the matter saying “enough is enough”.