Orby windfarm inquiry date row

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WIND farm opponents fear a ‘turbine hub’ could emerge in Orby if an important planning appeal takes place without their representation.

A public meeting on plans to build eight turbines at Orby Marsh has been scheduled to take place in April when many of the proposal’s opponents are unavailable.

Campaign leader, Melvin Grosvenor, feels that by selecting this date and steadfastly sticking with it, the developers will anger the local community.

“In the interest of openness and honesty, fairness and transparency, the developer should choose a date everyone can attend if they wanted to keep the local community behind their proposal,” he said.

Mr Grosvenor raised the matter with Sir Peter Tapsell MP as he believes it contradicts the government’s localism bill, intended to give local communities a greater say on planning.

He said: “By forcing the local community to accept a date that does not meet its required aims, it is totally contrary to government’s stated policy to promote localism. Sir Peter is very concerned about this because it makes the government look like a bit of an ass.”

Mr Grosvenor believes that if a wind farm is permitted in Orby, its location makes it a prime site to set up a ‘turbine hub’ with substations and pylons to deal with on and offshore wind farms throughout the region.

Landowner Mark Caudwell has been pursuing his wind farm plans for the site since 2002.

His latest application was refused by East Lindsey District Council on the grounds that its cumulative effect with other proposed wind farms would be detrimental to the area.

He believed the reasons for refusal were illegitimate and appealed to the Planning Inspectorate for its verdict.

He has refuted claims his choice of meeting date was deliberately disruptive, saying that he was ‘just following standard procedure.’

Mr Caudwell also claimed the opponents‘ suggested meeting date of July was outside the three month window of dates the Planning Inspectorate had requested.