Hemswell wind farm plan ready

PLANS for a ten turbine wind farm at Hemswell Cliff have been submitted to West Lindsey District Council.

RWE npower renewables has submitted the application for up to ten turbines on land 13km east of Gainsborough after months of suitability studies and consultation.

While the company is hopeful its application will be approved, these are the first plans to be considered since Lincolnshire County Council agreed to oppose wind farms in the county.

The landmark decision saw the authority send a strong message to developers, urging them to ‘think twice’ before erecting turbines in the lush Lincolnshire countryside.

Council leader Martin Hill said: “There’s been a proliferation of wind farms across Lincolnshire in recent years, and we feel that enough is enough.”

“Although we understand the need for alternative energy and are not opposed to all wind farms, we remain unconvinced by the questionable science behind them.”

“Not only are these things spoiling our beautiful countryside for future generations, they could also seriously damage our tourism industry - who wants to spend their holiday looking at a 400ft turbine?”

Despite Lincolnshire County Council sending out this message, it is not the deciding authority.

Planning approval will be decided by West Lindsey District Council.

If approved, the Hemswell Cliff wind farm would stand up to 126.5m tall.

They would be capable of generating 25 megawatts of electricity - enough to meet the average annual consumption of 11,600 homes.

But opinion is split among local people who attended public exhibitions earlier this year.

Around 240 people went along to see RWE’s plans. But less than half of those - 94 people - left their feedback.

Of these, 48 per cent were against the proposal, 35 per cent supported it, and 17 per cent had not made up their mind.

A formal consultation will begin once West Lindsey District Council has fully registered the application.

Members of the public, businesses and residents living nearby are urged to make their views known at this stage, to both the company and the council.

Developer for RWE npower renewables, Robert Warren, said: “Getting to this stage of development is a great achievement for RWE npower renewables and meeting UK targets for renewable energy is a big challenge.”

“Onshore wind farms, such as the one proposed near Hemswell Cliff, play a vital part of the ongoing effort to help tackle climate change.”

Mr Warren said the company offers a range of ‘community benefit packages’ for the communities living closest to its wind farms.

“We have over 15 years experience of delivering funding to communities in which we operate to provide a long-term, sustainable and reliable source of income for the local community,” he said.

“If granted consent, we would work with the community to tailor a package that meets their needs, such as refurbishing community halls or supporting local activities.”

The planning application will soon be available to view on the WLDC website at www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/residents/planning-and-building/view-applications-decisions-and-appeals/

For more detail on the proposals go to www.npower-renewables.com/hemswellcliff