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MP in fight over wind turbines

MP John Hayes is leading opposition against a proposed new wind farm.

MP John Hayes is leading opposition against a proposed new wind farm.

MP John Hayes is fighting to stop construction of a new wind farm that “contradicts” Government guidelines he helped draw up.

Sykamore Small Wind Company wants to site what it calls 12 “small” turbines at Wiles Farm, Dawsmere.

But the South Holland and The Deepings MP and residents say the turbines – as high as eight double-deckers on top of one another and taller than Gedney Water Tower – will ruin the open countryside.

Mr Hayes said: “Obviously I will be opposing it fiercely. It’s a very good example of the type of thing we should not be building. It would interrupt views across open, flat Fenland countryside in an area which is mostly unspoiled.

“It directly contradicts new guidelines that the Government introduced with my involvement which say that local authorities should take account of typography and that was designed particularly to protect flat, Fenland landscapes. It is entirely undesirable and I shall be opposing it, as I say, fiercely.”

Mr Hayes says councils must listen to residents and reject planning applications where there is public opposition.

He said: ”The Government is very clear about this – the emphasis in energy policy is that we should have a mix of generating types but local communities should have a defining say in where these resources go and if the local community oppose this, as I anticipate they will, then it will be absolutely right for the application to be rejected.

“Just because communities are small it doesn’t mean that their views should be overridden. In a sense these are industrial structures for industrial purposes and the last place they should go is in remote, rural areas.

“The new guidelines that we introduced earlier this year place new emphasis on visual amenity and cumulative impact and, sadly, we do already have a number of wind developments in Lincolnshire. I would strongly urge the local authority to reject this and in doing so they would have my full support.

“We now know that wind turbines kill significant numbers of birds. We are talking here about an important, natural habitat.

“The bird life on the marsh – the outer marsh and inner marsh – is one of the glories of our area and these things (turbines) do an immense amount of environmental damage.”

Lincolnshire Ramblers are objecting to a wind farm for the first time ever because they say the Wiles Farm turbines will go on public footpaths and this area is saturated with turbines

Ramblers countryside officer Alan Gibbon, who lives at Pinchbeck, said: “I plotted the intended site of the turbines in this case and they are literally right on the footpaths.”

Sykamore Small Wind company chief executive Ian Cooper said: “If it was a big wind farm, then I might agree with him (Mr Hayes), but we are talking about small wind turbines here. The visibility of them is going to be almost negligible as soon as you go a small distance away from them.”

He said the turbines do not “overlap” footpaths and that’s one of the issues being clarified with the council planning department.

Most of the energy generated by the turbines will be used by the farm to power things like drying sheds and cold storage sheds rather than be exported to the National Grid.

 

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