WIND FARM inquiry ends

The proposed wind turbine farm at East Heckington.
The proposed wind turbine farm at East Heckington.

AN inquiry into an application to build a wind farm at East Heckington came to an end last week and now the outcome will be determined by the Sectretary of State in the light of the full inquiry report.

THE eight-day inquiry was held at Hubberts Bridge to hear the views of those opposed to and in support of and application by renewable energy firm Ecotricity (Next Generation Ltd) to build 22 wind turbines at Six Hundred Farm on Heckington Fen, north of the A17 and east of Sidebar Lane, which, say the applicants, would generate enough power for 39,000 homes.

The Secretary of State ordered the inquiry, which was conducted by planning inspector Phillip Major.

If the application were to be approved each turbine would be 125 metres in height to the blade tip.

The application was rejected by the planning committee of North Kesteven District Council and opposed by South Kyme Parish Council and nearby residents to the site.

In support of their application, Ecotricity said: “The proposed development would make a nationally important contribution towards meeting UK renewable energy targets.”

But opponents of the scheme have questioned this and have raised concerns about the impact the turbines would have on the fenland landscape and on the lives of those living closest to the site.

In opposing the scheme North Kesteven District Council said the turbines are of an ‘excessively dominating and incongruous scale, mass and height’ and would have ‘a significant harmful visual impact’.

In their statement to the inquiry, South Kyme Parish Council questioned the economic justification for the wind farm, arguing it would be unlikely to produce the levels of energy output claimed, and expressed concerns that it would devalue the local landscape and have an adverse effect on property prices.

lFor more on the inquiry see page 9.

l What are your views? Join the debate, email