Wind farm plans on hold

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Tuesday, 4.40pm - A WIND farm project planned for a site near Bottesford is on hold following confusion over planning fees.

Tuesday, 4.40pm - A WIND farm project planned for a site near Bottesford is on hold following confusion over planning fees.Ridgewind submitted its application to build eight turbines at the Palmer's Hollow site to Melton Borough Council last month, which started a period of public consultation.

But this is now on hold after planners realised the incorrect fee had been submitted.

Anti-wind farm campaign group BLOT allege the developer paid the fee applicable to a 3ha site - estimated to be 140,000 less than the correct fee for the entire 140ha development site.

A spokesman for the group said: "This would not have covered the cost of processing the application, with the shortfall presumably coming from the taxpayers.

"Thankfully planning officers have asked the developers to amend the plans or submit the correct fee."

But Ridgewind says it just wants to pay the correct fee.

Project manager Ben Moore said: "It's a technicality. Planning fees changed recently and it's down to how they are interpreted.

"The only thing that will change is the red-line drawing which indicates the total area of the site.

"The turbines will be in the same place as will associated infrastructure.

"We expect the application to be re-submitted imminently."

Melton Borough Council said a new consultation period will begin once the plans are in order.

A spokesman said: "We have gone back to Ridgewind and requested an amended site plan with the application site based on the location of the turbines and associated infrastructure only.

"Once this has been received we will then be able to re-calculate the correct fee to be paid.

"The application process will then start again and fresh consultations will be carried out based on the amended information.''

Planners at South Kesteven District Council have already been consulted as part of the original application process because of the site's proximity to the district border.

In a report to be considered at a meeting on Tuesday, lead professional Mark Shipman has recommended that the development is considered unacceptable.

The reasons he gives relate to the conclusions made by the planning inspector who last year refused permission for a similar wind farm development at Thackson's Well less than half-a-mile away.

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For more on wind farms in the Grantham area click here.