A17 wind turbine could be two years away

News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter

It is likely to take two years before a 76.5m blade tip height wind turbine appears on land beside the A17 at Long Sutton.

The Little Sutton Energy Company, which last week was given planning consent for the project, is exploring “community ownership” of the structure. It also has to secure the cash for the project as well as order and install the machine.

We already have the power station to our left, six wind turbines directly in front and one wind turbine to our right. Surely this is enough for any household to have to bear.

Sutton Bridge resident

There were objections from residents – some as far away as Sutton Bridge – and their concerns included the risk of shadow flicker and the impact on views from homes.

One resident from Bridge Road, Sutton Bridge, told council planning officers: “We already have the power station to our left, six wind turbines directly in front and one wind turbine to our right. Surely this is enough for any household to have to bear.”

Little Sutton Energy Company chief executive officer Neil Mather told the Spalding Guardian: “We will continue to work with the local community to minimise impacts. We have proposed a planting scheme to mitigate views of the turbine from several nearby properties, which will now become a planning condition – and we have agreed a control system to eliminate any risk of shadow flicker from the blades when the sun is low.”

The company’s Chris Powles has led a number of discussions with members of the community.

He said: “We are committed to the principle of some form of community ownership of the turbine and have a number of credible individuals and organisations across South Holland interested in working with us to achieve a community owned scheme.”

The company says its turbine will supply the electricity needs of around 450 homes – equal to one fifth of the properties in Little Sutton and Long Sutton.

Concerns from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and English Heritage saw the height of the turbine dropped by ten metres.

The MoD was initially worried about the potential harmful impact on various RAF radar systems – but withdrew the objection once the turbine’s height was reduced.

English Heritage feared the turbine might harm the setting of St Mary’s Church at Long Sutton.

The heritage body “downgraded their level of concern” after the height of the turbine was dropped, saying it was for the planning committee to “balance that harm against the benefits of producing renewable energy”.