Heckington wind farm project hits the buffers
A project to site a 22 turbine wind farm on land at Heckington Fen has hit the buffers after a request for an amendment to give the developer more time to build was rejected by the Secretary of State.
Ecotricity secured planning permission for a wind farm with 66MW generating capacity on land north of the A17 at Six Hundreds Drove in 2013 after a public inquiry.
However the inspector stipulated that, among other things, the approval hinged on an adequate system being put in place so that the rotor blades did not disrupt radar for aircraft, particularly from the vital front line station nearby at RAF Coningsby.
Since then, due to difficulties in overcoming this hurdle, the company had applied in 2018 for an extension of planning consent from five to ten years before work has to start. It also applied to make a start on altering the access track, relocating the onsite substation and increasing the length of the rotor blades to maximise the energy generated, all ahead of coming up with a radar mitigation scheme. Objectors sent in detailed reports on the extra noise this may cause for neighbours, something disputed by Ecotricity.
The Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has now written to Ecotricity saying there is no valid
Radar Mitigation Scheme and has seen “no credible prospect of one being secured within the timeframe”. Having considered all matters, the department has refused consent.
Ecotricity has made no comment on the decision, but is now consulting with the public on a new scheme to site a 500MW generating capacity solar farm on the same site.