A Sutton St James resident says she can’t stop looking out of her windows now she knows she will never have to see a turbine almost as high as Boston Stump obscuring her countryside view.
Villager Mandy Campling sat in the gallery at South Holland District Council’s planning committee with other big sky campaigners who have been fighting the plan for a 78 meter turbine for the past 15 months and burst into tears when the ‘no’ verdict was given.
Planners had received 113 letters of objection to Ogden Renewable Energy’s application to site the turbine on land associated with Fendyke Farm, along with opposition from Sutton St James Parish Council, local action group FenRATS and MP John Hayes.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) also objected on grounds the turbine would inacceptably interfere with the air traffic control radar at RAF Waddington.
Other reasons included the negative impact on the Fens, major loss of visual amenity for local residents, noise and the recent government initiative to “give sovereignty to local people people over the national renewable energy policy”.
Mandy, of Rose Farm Cottage, told the Free Press after the meeting: “I can’t believe I burst into tears at the meeting, but emotions had been building up for so long and it was such a relief.
“We built our house here and it’s been a labour of love. If the turbine had been approved it would have been horrendous.
“All of my principle windows look out on the site and the turbine would have been visible from most of our rooms.
“It would have been a monstrosity and it would have made it impossible to sell the house.
“I can’t stop looking out of the windows now and enjoying the view.”
She and other campaigners, including Sandra North and Paul Hinks, were overjoyed at the result. Mr Hinks said: “It’s been a long battle but there were robust reasons for refusing the plan, which the council took on board. We are very happy with the result.”
Sutton St James has become a hot spot target for renewable energy companies. In February, residents were
calling village to be renamed ‘Solar St James’ after plans for the county’s biggest renewable energy park on their doorstep.
MP John Hayes described the verdict on the turbine as “a triumph for the community”. He said: “I met the campaigners and this was something I was happy to add my name to.
“The turbine would have been a monstrous incursion on the landscape. A good local campaign and the right decision.”