Frustration at wind farm amendments

An artist's impression of the view of the Heckington Fen wind farm. EMN-150906-133126001
An artist's impression of the view of the Heckington Fen wind farm. EMN-150906-133126001

North Kesteven District Council has been criticised for not standing in the way of amendments to plans for a 22 turbine, 66MW wind farm.

Ecotricity, the company behind the wind farm proposed for land on Heckington Fen, has applied to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to maximise the energy generation by lengthening the rotor blades by up to 13m, to 103m, while retaining the same maximum turbine height of 125m, altering onsite access tracks and increasing the size of the onsite substation. They also want to start on work on site ahead of finalising a scheme to deal with turbine interference with military radar.

The original plan was decided by public inquiry which the district council had opposed, but last Tuesday, June 2, members opted to make no objection to the changes as a consultee.

Objector and South Kyme resident Mervyn Head has written to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and to the head of planning. He thought the council ought to have at least insisted upon the original requirement of no development of the site prior to MOD approval of a radar mitigation scheme, adding that other reasons would also have been valid, saying: “After spending a not inconsiderable amount of money at the public enquiry to oppose this project, the resolution to let the amended application pass without any effective comment is a betrayal of the residents of this district.”

An NKDC spokesman said the committee reluctantly raised no objection but said: “That is a battle we lost in 2012 when our strong opposition was overturned by a Government inspector.” It was felt to risk more taxpayers’ money was not appropriate. He said it presented little material change to something they had already expressed opposition but their hands were tied.

Ecotricity has said industry wide solutions to the radar are being developed and tested and are hopeful this technology will be available soon.