Developer warns wind farm plan refusal could hit local economy

A photo montage of how the wind farm would look viewed from Brant Broughton. Photo: Energiekontor EMN-171004-162302001
A photo montage of how the wind farm would look viewed from Brant Broughton. Photo: Energiekontor EMN-171004-162302001

A wind energy development company is ‘disappointed’ at a decision by planners to reject its scheme for a 10-turbine wind farm on Fulbeck Airfield.

South Kesteven District Council officers have refused the application for the 110m-high wind turbines under delegated powers.

Should the applicant, Energiekontor, want to appeal the decision to the Planning Inspectorate it has six months to do so.

Michael Briggs from Energiekontor UK, said: “We are obviously very disappointed with the council’s decision to refuse the planning application, as will be the hundreds of people who have written in to express their support for the project.

“The wind farm would have delivered many benefits to the local and wider area which are now in doubt, particularly in relation to the economy, as numerous local construction companies were hoping the project would come forward.

“At the same time, we fully understand the reasons why many have expressed their objections to the project and have always tried to do our best to address those concerns.

“But the council was of the view that concerns in relation to landscape and cultural heritage issues were not outweighed by the benefits from the wind farm. We will need to look at the council’s reasons closely with our team before deciding what next for Fulbeck Airfield.”

Planning officers said they refused the wind farm on the former wartime airfield on a number of grounds, including its potentially adverse visual and physical impact on the landscape and on the settings of numerous ‘high grade’ heritage assets.

Concerns were also raised over an adverse impact on air safety through interference with aircraft radar and conflict with government policy. They further pointed to a Written Ministerial Statement from June 18, 2015, in which it states wind energy development should be in areas specified in local plans as being suitable for such development, and that wind farms should have the backing of local people.

Local campaigning residents are delighted and relieved having seen a smaller project two miles away at Temple Hill rejected two years ago.

Paul Miley of local anti-wind farm group reVOLT/VETO said: “Now the community asks that the developer respects local democracy and does not seek to appeal this decision.”

He said: “An appeal would be an expensive and time consuming process both for the council and the community.”

However, he did say ‘local people are ready to continue the fight if needed’.