Applause as Temple Hill wind farm near Brandon is rejected

Wind turbines.
Wind turbines.
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In a chamber packed out with members of the public, South Kesteven District Council rejected an application for five wind turbines near Brandon.

The application for the development known as Temple Hill wind farm was for the construction of five turbines 415ft tall.

Today’s decision by SKDC’s development control committee to reject the application, in accordance with the planning officer’s recommendations, was greeted with applause.

The application was recommended for refusal on the grounds that ‘the proposal would result in considerable and extensive harm to the landscape character, visual amenity, and the setting of a number of heritage assets in the area’.

National Air Traffic Services (NATS) had also expressed concern regarding the turbines potential interference with radar.

Amongst the public speakers against the plans was Hough-on-the-Hill parish councillor, and spokesman of opposition group ReVOLT, Paul Miley.

Mr Miley said: “The developer failed to explain why the Trent and Belvoir Vale was a suitable place for a huge wind farm. We campaigned for appropriate renewables in our community; we have a solar farm in operation, a second approved and lots of biomass grown and stored locally. But there was no justification for this industrial development.”

Also speaking against the proposals was Michael Worth, who was one of many to highlight the turbines effect on nearby churches and the views from Stubton Hall, Belton House and Bellmount Tower.

Mr Worth said: “Many of us local residents have spent much time, effort and resources, over perhaps several generations, preserving and enhancing the historic assets, settings and buildings of the Grantham North area and Lincolnshire as a whole.”

Robin Basten, regional development manager for RWE Innogy UK (RWE), expressed his disappointment following the refusal for planning permission.

He said: “At a time when clean, affordable energy and local investment are so much needed, it is sad to see this great opportunity rejected.”

Mr Basten added: “We have undertaken more than three years of environmental and technical surveys to make sure that this site is suitable to host a wind farm. We strongly believe that this was a good location for our proposal which fully complies with South Kesteven District Council’s own planning policy.”

RWE Innogy UK have not confirmed whether they will be appealing the decision, but said they will now consider the findings further before deciding on the next steps.

Asked whether there were concerns regarding an appeal, Mr Miley added: “Given this has been rejected so comprehensively by the local council we hope the developer respects local democracy in this case. The council decision was backed by the community and based on expert opinion. There are additional grounds for rejecting this plan and we are ready to continue the fight if required. But an appeal would be an expensive and time consuming process for the council and for the community, which has had this threat hanging over them for years.”