Wind farm set to blow up new storm of protest

'Heck Off' Heckington Fen wind turbine action group at Hume Arms, South Kyme. Committee members and guests L-R Melvin Grosvenor, Cllr Julia Harrison, Charlotte Turner - guest speaker, Mervyn Head, Chris Pavely, David Casswell, Dagmar Burnett, Clare Stephenson. EMN-160203-104359001
'Heck Off' Heckington Fen wind turbine action group at Hume Arms, South Kyme. Committee members and guests L-R Melvin Grosvenor, Cllr Julia Harrison, Charlotte Turner - guest speaker, Mervyn Head, Chris Pavely, David Casswell, Dagmar Burnett, Clare Stephenson. EMN-160203-104359001

Public meetings last week saw growing support for an action group fighting the construction of a 22-turbine wind farm at Heckington Fen.

‘Heck Off’ - as it is being called - held a well-attended public meeting last Tuesday in the Hume Arms at South Kyme to explain to concerned residents the latest position in which developers Ecotricity are seeking to amend their current permission for a wind farm on land at Heckington Fen.

The company has requested permission to increase the length of the blades of the turbines from 90m to 103m, although not increasing the 125m height of each turbine. The company is also pressing for a relaxation of planning conditions to go ahead with ground works while a solution is found for interference with radar.

A second public meeting was held at Hubberts Bridge on Thursday. Chairman of the group Melvin Grosvenor said the latest amendments to the blade lengths of the turbines are ‘significant’ and would have a greater impact on surrounding residents from rotor noise.

He said: “The residents didn’t realise the full impacts and now are very concerned that their voices have not been heard right from the beginning. They are determined to make sure the Department of Energy and Climate Change will listen. There will be hundreds of letters of objection submitted.”

Mr Grosvenor said they will be calling for more time to respond and will not rest until the matter is looked at again.

An Ecotricity spokesman said: “Independent consultants (Hoare Lea) have carried out a comprehensive revised noise assessment that showed that no significant effects would occur in relation to noise, as the original assessment also demonstrated.

“No statutory consultees have raised any objection to the variation of consent application.”

He said the variation could reduce the number of turbines needed to 18, thereby reducing the scale of the development.