Hemswell: Planning appeal submitted for 10 turbine wind farm in Hemswell

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

An appeal has been submitted for a 10 turbine wind farm in Hemswell after it was rejected by West Lindsey District Council.

RWE has requested the appeal be heard through a public inquiry, which would probably be held later this year.

Members of the public will have five weeks to make comments to the Planning Inspectorate once it has notified the council that the appeal is valid and the process should start.

At the same time, RWE has submitted a revised wind farm scheme for the site to be considered through the appeal process as a formal alternative to the original.

RWE is now proposing to remove two turbines, leaving a total of eight on the site. The temporary construction compound would also be relocated.

RWE will carry out a public consultation on the new proposals and members of the public will have 21 days to comment. All comments will be forwarded to both the Planning Inspectorate and RWE.

A final decision on the proposals will be made by the Planning Inspectorate.

The original planning application for a 10 turbine wind farm was unanimously refused by the council’s planning committee at a special meeting at the Epic Centre on 30th October 2013.

Each turbine was a maximum height of 126.5 metres. The plan also includes a permanent and temporary mast, substation and control building, temporary construction compound and underground electrical cabling.

A few weeks ago Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh urgedfor Government intervention over the planning appeal.

Sir Edward Leigh wrote to Eric Pickles stating the wind turbine proposal at Hemswell Clif provoked ‘substantial resistance from local residents and other concerned people, verging on the unanimous’. He voiced his own ‘deepseated opposition’ to the proposal and raised the alarm regarding RWE’s appeal.

Sir Edward said: “There is a very real risk of the principles of localism and subsidiarity being significantly undermined if deep-pocket ed groups like RWE are capable of spinning out the appeals process to such an extent that district councils and the concerned parish councils feel theycannot feasibly compete.”

“Alongside concerned residents and other local people, they may be intimidated into silence or inaction by the deep resources of such groups.”

Sir Edward asked the Secretary of State to intervene to “ensure thatthe wishes of local residents are heeded, that the very fair decision of the planning commitee of West Lindsey District Council is upheld, and that the principles of localism are respected.”