Hemswell Cliff: Plans for a 10 turbine wind farm have been rejected by the Secretary of State

Proposed site for a wind farm near Hemswell Cliff G120710-1c
Proposed site for a wind farm near Hemswell Cliff G120710-1c

RWE Innogy UK’s proposed 10 turbine Hemswell Cliff Wind Farm has been refused after appeal and the consequent public inquiry.

The decision was made by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark MP.

Commenting upon the decision, regional development manager for the company, Mark Crawford, said: “We are naturally disappointed that we have been refused planning permission.

“At a time when onshore wind farms like Hemswell Cliff could make a positive and increasingly essential difference to climate change, energy bills and local investment, it is a shame that the project will not proceed further and allow the area to be area to meet its own energy needs.”

This decision has been welcomed by Gainsborough MP, Sir Edward Leigh.

Sir Edward Leigh said: “I’m delighted that the minister has backed local residents as well as the original, unanimous decision of West Lindsey District Council’s Planning Committee.

“We owe a lot to people in and around the villages of Hemswell Cliff, the VOCAT campaign group, and the planning committee of the District Council for their strength and determination in securing this result.

“The Government has been keen to ensure that local decision-making is backed up and that big energy companies don’t prolong the process through expensive appeals. This is an excellent result and will help preserve the beauty of our Lincolnshire countryside.”

Sir Edward played a key role in the campaign against the Hemswell Cliff Wind Farm, and made both written and direct representations at West Lindsey District Council’s Planning Committee, lobbied the relevant ministers and worked to support objectors at all levels.

The original proposal by RWE Innogy UK Ltd. was for the erection of a 10 turbine windfarm at Hemswell Cliff. The applicant appealed and the Planning Inspectorate began the process for a public inquiry.

The applicant decided to submit an amendment for the scheme to reduce the number of turbines being considered to eight, this was agreed by the inspector to be considered.

In July 2014 the Secretary of State announced that the determination would be made by the minister and later that year, in September the Planning Committee at the council considered the alternative scheme.

A public inquiry met for several sessions over eight days in late January and into early February 2015. Initially a decision was expected in mid-June, but timescales slipped and a decision was issued today (Tuesday, September 15).

Sir Edward added: “Councillors on West Lindsey District Council were completely right in refusing the application, and Greg Clark has shown that this government is going to listen to local people in the countryside who don’t want to have their landscapes blotted by these alien structures.

“I am pleased to have played my part in championing the protections of the big skies of Lincolnshire.”