UPDATED - MORE COMMENTS: Victory for anti-wind farm campaigners as appeal fails

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Tuesday, 9am - A WIND farm will not be allowed to be built in the Vale of Belvoir, a planning inspector has ruled.

Tuesday, 9am - A WIND farm will not be allowed to be built in the Vale of Belvoir, a planning inspector has ruled.The decision was announced this morning following an 11-day planning appeal in which developer Infinergy appealed against a decision by South Kesteven District Council to refuse planning permission for 10 turbines at the Thackson's Well site near Normanton and Long Bennington.

Campaign group BLOT, which led local opposition to the plans, is celebrating victory.

Jamie Mawer said: "This is absolutely fantastic news.

"It gives groups like ours all over the country hope that these plans are not a done deal.

"This result has hopefully stopped a dangerous precedent being set and shown we aren't naiive, gullible and apathetic.

"We stood up for what we believe in and weren't going to be ridden roughshod over.

"We would like to thank everyone who has supported us and helped us fight the plans."

In his report, planning inspector David Lavender addressed issues of noise, impact on landscape amd implications for heritage assets such as Bennington Grange, Belvoir Castle and St Mary's Church in Bottesford.

Summing up his decision to dismiss Infinergy's appeal, he said: "I am left in no doubt that harm to the historic qualities of the landscape would result of such significant and unacceptable magnitude as to outweigh the electricity generation benefits of this particular scheme in its entirety.

"The scheme as submitted would be unacceptably harmful to the historic environment of the area.

"Planning conditions of obligations cannot overcome this concern."

Frances, Dowager Duchess of Rutland, of Belvoir Castle, spoke in support of BLOT at the appeal.

Today, she said: "We are all absolutely overjoyed with the result.

"The whole of the BLOT committee has received massive support from people in the area.

"We have felt very strongly that they were behind us and the support has been absolutely wonderful."

Infinergy is considering whether to lodge a further appeal against the inspector's decision.

Project director Herbert Lindlahr said: "This is another blow to meeting government's renewable energy targets in the UK.

"We are currently studying the appeal decision and considering our position as to whether to take this matter further.

"We still believe this is an excellent site for a wind farm and feel the benefits it will bring in terms of clean, renewable electricity outweigh those upheld as the reasons for refusal."

Your comments

Most excellent news. Commonsense has for once prevailed. Now let us think of producing real green energy, not this ineffectual rubbish

Tina Negus

What great news and if they appeal again it shows firstly that they have more money than sense and secondly that there is something wrong with the process if they are allowed infinite bites at the cherry with our money.

Steve Cattell

Hougham

After the collapse of Infinergy's appeal, in which the company continued to try to force upon us those dreadful wind turbines, the words of Herbert Lindlahr, the Project Director, that 'we are considering whether to take the matter further', are quite pathetic and remind one of the last writhing of a mythical dragon which, after the fatal deathblow still refuses to die.

Michael Negus

Grantham

One day, when we experience the brutal reality of climate change, there will be a voice that says was I selfish?

Did I do anything for my children and my children's children? Maybe even, did I do anything for me?

I anticipate, that in the years ahead, that voice will rise and adopt a tone close to hysteria.

That voice will challenge government on why nothing was done. Well in the Grantham Journal is a record of why nothing could be done.

A section of the community wishes to celebrate a victory, but they fail to recognise that their life will change, their environment will change.

"Now" cannot be encapsulated, we can no longer dwell in "now".

It is a very sad day for the UK, that a simple and straight forward project, cannot be brought to fruition because of a backdrop of fear of a very benign technology (wind turbines) when the world faces the most fearful prospect.

Charles Sandham

CEO Infinergy Ltd - Developer of Thackson's Well Wind Farm

In my view the effects of the windfarm set against the benefit of having viable green electricity for less than 30% of the year is a trip too far.

John Clark

Allington

Australia will supply all you need in Yellow Cake.

But think of the consequences, surely a pollution free alternative should not be stopped.

Wake up England !!!!

Michael Bradshaw (Ex Bottesfordian)

No turbines, ok let's mine the coal in the Vale of Belvoir to keep energy prices down so we don`t have to be screwed buying from abroad.

I suppose all of the Blots will moan about this as well, hope they are first to have no electricity when the national grid cannot cope with demand.

Stephen Fincham

Although the appeal decision concentrates on the unacceptably harmful impact the scheme would have had on the historic environment of the area, it does also make mention of the issue of noise and the fact that surveys were carried out at a particularly busy time in the farming calendar.

This rather cynical approach by wind farm developers continues to be employed across the UK as well as in South Kesteven.

Hopefully this whole process has left our planners wiser to such tactics.

Lets hope that more public money isn't wasted over the next few years on applications around Sempringham and the Fens.

Sven Landau

Unless directly affected, few of the population of the UK will ever experience living in close proximity to wind farms and blithely go on believing the spin placed on this form of energy production as being the savior of the human race.

The whole subject has become political and as such seen by many as a quick fix to the nation's renewable energy needs and obligations.

If the Government were to plough the kind of money they lavish on wind farm developers into serious research and support for those alternative renewable energy sources that do not rely on an intermittent source, perhaps this nation would be better prepared to face the energy drought that it will be facing within the next couple of decades.

I'd willing have a straw burning power station next to me, despite the downside of more traffic but with the knowledge that it would supply energy on demand not when the wind decrees!

Roger Callow

Of course the right decision was made in this case that is to say that not all wind farm proposals should be turned down, but let's accept the viable ones that add to the quality of life not detract from it and are genuinley based on need not greed.

It is the unwarranted schemes that get the rest tarred with the same brush and the sooner we have meaningful guidance from the government to stop wasting money on the greed based applications the quicker the more serious ones could get approved.

We need independent guidance not the ones written by the wind energy people who have a vested interest.

We should also wake up to the fact that wind is not the total solution to our ( the world's ] energy problems but only a small part of.

David Yorkshire

Mr Sandham says it's a sad day but not so.

It's a happy day, democracy wins out.

The local people didn't want it, they are noisy, inefficient and ugly.

Stick them out at sea if you have to have them anywhere. Better still invest the enormous subsidies into reducing wasteful energy usage.

What this country needs is energy on demand not just when the wind blows at the right speed and in the right direction.

Wind farm developers like to quote all sorts of nonsense in support of these projects but a visit to Bicker or Deeping will reveal either turbines at a standstill or blasting noise across the countryside.

Laila Podro

In response to Mr Sandham's comment.

You make an eloquent case for renewable energy and you're preaching to the converted.

This project, and so many others are failing to be accepted because the world needs to deliver true energy savings and this project doesn't stack up when weighed against its impact.

We need wind farms at high efficiency rates that everyone can recognise make sense.

Your reluctance to share data around the wind data and the farm's likely efficiency just compound your problems by leading everyone to doubt your case.

I suggest you should look at yourself and ask the questions: Was I selfish in trying to find sites that made me money, but aren't even 20% efficient? Should I have spent my resources on indentifying sites that were 50% or more efficient?

It's a shame that you try to make others feel guilty when you are in a prime position to do so much more. Don't throw stones in glass houses.

Jonathan Jackson

I have read the report into the wind farm appeal, the first I have ever read.

As I worked my way through the 37 pages, I developed a growing sense of admiration for the calm, methodical and unbiased manner in which the many and varied issues had been captured, summarised and presented.

I came to the conclusion that whatever the result had been it would be extremely difficult to challenge.

I have no idea whether this is the usual standard to which Planning Inspectors perform, but if they all produce work like this, then the public is being well served – no matter what the result.

Hats off to David Lavender, Planning Inspector, for a masterful piece of work!

Steve Sordy

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