VIDEO: Celebrations as Hemswell Cliff wind farm is rejected

A controversial application for 10 wind turbines taller than Lincoln Cathedral has been rejected - but the developer is considering an appeal.

More than 450 people turned out for a special West Linsdey District Council planning committee meeting to determine RWE Npower Renewables’ application for a 20 to 25 megawatt (MW) wind farm at Hemswell Cliff.

Turbine proposal

Turbine proposal

The meeting, at Lincolnshire Showground EPIC Centre, saw cheers from the public when the committee unanimously refused planning permission.

Councillors said the development would significantly intrude upon and dominate the setting of nearby heritage assests, cause significant harm to archaeological sites in the area and have and an adverse visual impact on the setting and appearance of local landscape character.

More than 2,000 people objected to the proposal and there were about 900 letters of support.

The committee heard arguments from various figures opposing the application, including MP Sir Edward Leigh, who arrived and left by helicopter due to commitments at Westminster.

Sir Edward said he was “very anxious” to be at the meeting to represent his constituents’ views.

He said: “An historic view of national importance from the Wolds will be ruined.

“It will forever be damaged if these turbines are built.

“There’s no possible case for approving this application.”

Hemswell Parish Council chairman Barry Dutton, who was speaking on behalf of 14 local parish councils, said: “It’s hard to imagine a less suitable site for a wind farm than this one.”

VOCAT (Villages of the Cliff Against Turbines) spokesman Ernie Coleman told the meeting: “It’s cultural vandalism.”

And he said the turbines would be an “industrial strength” disaster for road safety in the area.

WLDC planning officers had advised councillors the application should be refused but RWE Npower Renewables had still been optimistic.

The company’s developer for the Hemswell site, Neil Parnell said: “We are disappointed.

“We will now be considering our next steps including the option to refer this decision to appeal where it would ultimately be determined by an independently appointed government planning inspector.”

Mr Parnell said the development - designed to power 11,600 homes each year - would generate local jobs and provide a community investment package worth £665,000.