MP Sir Edward Leigh is ‘optimistic’ a planning appeal for a ‘colossal’ wind turbine in Caistor will be thrown out after the Secretary of State agreed to personally determine the application.
Normally appeals go to the Planning Inspectorate but Sir Edward requested that Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Greg Clark determines an application for a 102-metre turbine at the end of Moor Lane, next to Caistor Equestrian Centre.
The controversial application by EDP Renewables was rejected by West Lindsey District Council’s planning committee, which said 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).
Sir Edward said: “Given Greg’s track record to date, I’m cautiously optimistic that we will see a good result that backs up the local decision made in the light of the views of local residents.”
The Planning Inspectorate ‘might be less inclined’ to uphold the district council’s verdict, according to Sir Edward.
He said: “I’m pleased the ministerial team at the Department for Communities and Local Government have accepted my request that this be decided by the Secretary of State and not the Planning Inspectorate.
“We are firm believers in local decision-making, and I remain very hopeful that Greg Clark will back the decisions wisely made by West Lindsey District Council.
“Local residents are very much opposed to this development, and it’s our responsibility to back up their voices.”
Moor Lane residents say 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 the site.
Lesley and David Kendall have lived in the house closest to the site of the proposed turbine for the past 32 years.
Lesley said: “My house is in direct line to it. It’s 800m away from the actual turbine.
“It’ll be visible from my bedroom, lounge, front door, back door, garden and patio - there’s no way I can get away from it.
“I’m terrified of the health issues of having a turbine close to me. The impact on my house will be immense.”
Speaking at a public meeting about the appeal back in May, leading authority on wind turbines, Melvin Grosvenor, said: “They (the applicant) describe it as a small turbine - at 102m it’s not a small turbine, it’s colossal.”
In its appeal, EDP said WLDC’s reasons for refusal cannot 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.”
And EDP said it does not accept the proposal would damage highways.