MP joins fight over wind farm mast plan

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Campaigners have the backing of Energy Minister John Hayes in the first battle of a war against a wind farm in their village.

Mr Hayes, South Holland and the Deepings MP, has written a letter objecting to a plan by Wind Ventures Ltd to build a 80m high meteorological mast at the site of a proposed wind farm in Delph Bank, West Pinchbeck.

The mast would gather data on the wind speed and direction in what Wind Ventures describes as a “vital part of determining the potential revenues of a prospective wind farm”.

Plans for nine 125m high turbines at The Delph have already been submitted to South Holland District Council, but Wind Ventures are hoping to get permission for the mast before the wind farm is considered.

The mast, which would have wind sensors along its height, will be considered by the council’s planning committee on March 20.

Mr Hayes’ letter to the committee says he has had a considerable number of letters from constituents “extremely concerned” by the proposal.

It reads: “I believe this application would have a detrimental visual impact on our fenland landscape bearing in mind the close proximity to the turbines in Deeping St Nicholas.

“These tall structures should not become the defining feature of our area.

“I am also concerned over the proximity of the mast to local residents, the effect it would have on their enjoyment of surroundings and house prices.”

Mr Hayes’ comments are among a number of objections to the plans, from residents living near to the proposed wind farm site and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, which says it has “strong concerns” over a wind farm so close to its Willow Tree Fen nature reserve.

The reserve was bought by the trust in 2009 and is being restored to wet fenland to provide habitats for rare and threatened species.

Its objection says: “Other reserves are too small to support some of the larger fenland birds and animals but Willow Tree Fen will be colonised by these species and increase Lincolnshire’s remaining fenland by 200 per cent.

“With specific reference to the mast (the trust) have concerns over the visual impacts of the mast from the reserves.”

Despite the objections, members will be recommended to approve the mast, providing a number of conditions are met.