Thursday, 10.50am - A WIND farm cannot be built in the Vale of Belvoir, a planning inspector ruled on Monday following a public inquiry costing a staggering £400,000.
Thursday, 10.50am - A WIND farm cannot be built in the Vale of Belvoir, a planning inspector ruled on Monday following a public inquiry costing a staggering 400,000.Each of the parties involved will be forced to pay their own costs, with South Kesteven District Council's 110,000 bill falling on the taxpayer.
It cost campaign group BLOT 40,000 to be represented at the inquiry, which was funded by donations from supporters.
Developer Infinergy's 250,000 costs will be paid by its private investors.
The firm originally said it planned to claim costs from SKDC if its appeal against the council's decision to refuse planning permission for turbines at the Thackson's Well site, near Normanton and Long Bennington, was successful.
But a Government rule change means all parties now have to pay their own costs.
BLOT chairman Pandora Mawer said: "Councils and campaign groups all over Britain are being forced to spend this sort of money fighting wind farms.
"In the end, we are paying if they do go up and paying if they don't."
Let me see now; the locals didn't want a wind farm, the District Council turned down planning with adequate reason and the appeal failed.
Why should we foot the bill?
Infinergy should meet all the costs of the appeal from both sides, perhaps they will put their planning applications together a little less cynically and with a bit more care.
BLOT and the council should be able to claim costs.
The Journal headline (21 Nov) announced that SKDC will pay 110,000 as a result of defending their just decision to keep Infinergy out of the Vale of Belvoir.
The SKDC Annual Performance Plan 2007-08 states that there are 55,510 households within the district.
The number may have risen a little since the data were collected, but assuming that the great majority pay council tax, this means that each household paid about 2 of their annual Council Tax to support our District Council's decision.
The financial backers of Infinergy lost a quarter of a million pounds, but that will not stop them, because they know what huge returns can be made by forcing electricity companies to buy from them at prices much higher than from conventional generators.
We won the local skirmish against Infinergy at a very low cost, but I fear the fight against greedy and bullying windfarm developers throughout the UK will be lost and as a result much greater financial and social costs are awaiting us in the future.
Do you think taxpayers should be forced to foot the bill or should SKDC and BLOT be entitled to claim costs from Infinergy? Click here to email your view.