Plan for controversial wind turbine north of Grantham gets go-ahead

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DESPITE objections from English Heritage, planners gave the green light this week for a 66 metre high wind turbine to be built north of Grantham.

The single turbine will be positioned on a 70 metre high hill at Frinckley Farm, outside Hougham.

The proposal was recommended for rejection by council planning officers but an impassioned speech by self-confessed “wind farm anorak” Simon Tilley, appeared to sway opinion.

Mr Tilley told councillors: “We need to be able to look our children in the eye and be able to say we tried to do something to avert climate change.”

English Heritage argued the proposed turbine would have a “harmful impact” on the “significance of highly graded assets” including Belton House and gardens, Bellmount Tower, St Mary’s Church, Marston, Marston Hall and Gelston Village Cross.

English Heritage added: “It has not been demonstrated that the public benefits outweigh the harm caused.”

The National Trust raised similar objections but said they must be considered alongside the “benefits of the renewable energy that would be generated”.

David Rowe, a chartered environmentalist, told councillors the turbine is expected to reduce carbon emissions by around 500 tonnes per year while generating 900MW hours of electricity.

The turbine would make Frinkley Farm carbon neutral and any excess power would go into the national grid and most likely be used by neighbouring villages.

The turbine proposal was put forward by farm owner Mr White. Planners were told farmers like him needed to significantly reduce their carbon footprint if they are to compete with overseas farmers as companies such as Marks & Spencer and Tesco have set targets for their suppliers to be carbon neutral.

Some councillors spoke out against the proposal, including Coun Bob Adams.

He said: “Areas of natural beauty are being eroded in the interests of so-called progress.”

However, Coun Reg Howard argued this turbine would not affect the beauty of the area.

He said: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and one of these turbines in that expanse of space would be insignificant.”

The proposal was also supported by Hougham Parish Council but objections were raised by Foston Parish Council and Barkston and Syston Parish Council.

Councillors on the development control committee voted nine to four in favour of the proposal.

What do you think? Should we get behind wind farms so we can “look our children in the eye”? Or are our areas of natural beauty being eroded? E-mail: comment@granthamjournal.co.uk