Hemswell Cliff: Planning officers recommend wind farm be refused at special meeting

Proposed site for a wind farm near Hemswell Cliff G120710-1a
Proposed site for a wind farm near Hemswell Cliff G120710-1a

A decision over plans for a huge wind farm at Hemswell Cliff will be made at a special meeting next week - with planners recommeding it be refused.

RWE Npower Renewables Ltd submitted the application for a 10 turbine wind farm on land 13km from Gainsborough in July last year.

The application has been surrounded by controversy with more than 2,000 letters of objection been submitted and more than 600 in support of it.

Due to the level of interest that surrounds the plans, West Lindsey District Council has organised a special planning meeting at the Epic Centre at the Lincolnshire Showground on Wednesday 30th October.

Planning officers have recommended the application be refused on two grounds. The first is that the wind farm would ‘significantly intrude upon and dominate the setting of nearby heritage assets resulting in substantial harm to the detriment of their significance’, and secondly that it would result in ‘substantial harm to heritage assets of significant archeological interest within the site.’

Mark Sturgess, the council’s director of planning and regeneration said: “This is a major planning application, which officers have been working on for 12 months, assessing all the information and undertaking discussions with statutory consultees.”

“It has generated a high level of interest from local residents, which is why we have decided to hold the special planning meeting, to enable as many people as possible to attend.”

The meeting will be split into two sessions. The first session, at 2.30pm, will enable the planning committee to listen to those making representations for and against the application. The second part, which will start at 6.30pm, will be when the decision is made.

Neil Parnell, RWE npower renewables’ developer for Hemswell Cliff said: “We believe the design and development of our proposal has been shaped through a full range of environmental studies and assessments to establish the suitability of the site for the proposed wind farm, including extensive consultation with the local community.”

He said they had consulted with a wide range of people and organisations prior to submitting the application, and carried out an environmental impact assessent, which supports the application.

He added: “It is now down to West Lindsey District Council’s planning committee, in consultation with all interested parties, to make a decision which takes into account the need for alternative electricity to help tackle climate change.”

The council advises anyone wishing to speak at the meeting to contact representatives for either for or against to ensure their messages are relayed. To speak at the meeting, call or email 01427 676595 or committeeadmin@west-lindsey.gov.uk