Leader would have put travellers rather than wind farm on land

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Council leader Gary Porter would have put gypsies on farmland at West Pinchbeck if he had known about a “secret” plan to site wind turbines there.

Energy company Wind Ventures appears to have written in confidence to the Ministry of Defence in 2009 about putting wind turbines on a farm more than a year before a campaign was mounted to oppose the district council’s own plans for a gypsy and travellers’ site nearby.

Council plans for a travellers’ site at The Delph, West Pinchbeck, were unveiled in May 2010 but were booted out.

Wind farm “noise victim” Jane Davis said she’s shocked the company seemingly had plans so soon after she had to abandon her home in 2007.

Wind Ventures is now seeking consent for nine 126-metre high turbines at Fen Farm, South Fen.

Planning documents from Wind Ventures reveal the company wrote to Defence Estates in February 2009 about siting five 125-metre high turbines on “Fen Estate”.

One wind farm opponent, who asked not to be named, submitted a Freedom of Information request to the council on Monday to find out who knew what and when.

The campaigner says the wind farm could not have gone ahead if travellers were living on the opposite side of the road.

A document believed by the campaigner to be from solicitors acting for owners of Bank House Farm highlights protection of wildlife as a big concern with regard to the travellers’ site, but the campaigner says wind turbines could be just as harmful.

Coun Porter insists he didn’t know a wind farm was being considered at the time the travellers’ site plans were discussed by the council.

He said: “If it was a choice of relocating the gypsies there or putting up a wind farm, then I would have gone for the gypsies. If we had got information that this was happening then I think the outcome might have been different for us.”

Coun Porter is opposed to onshore wind farms and says they don’t appear to be flavour of the month with the Government.

Protest group Stop West Pinchbeck Wind Farm has raised more than £5,000 towards its £8,000 target to fight the plans using experts on planning, ecology, noise and landscape.

Tony Fear said his group is focusing on planning issues and doesn’t want to get too much involved in the latest revelation.

Farmer Edward Whitfield declined to comment and Wind Ventures did not return our call.