A planning authority, whose mistakes already delayed a long-running planning dispute, has now been accused of hindering local input when the matter is heard next.
Opponents to the Orby Wind Farm proposal are furious with East Lindsey District Council for choosing to host the public inquiry in Manby - more than 20 miles from the proposed site.
Hogsthorpe Parish Council ‘sCoun Richard Enderby attacked the decision as another ‘nail in the coffin for localism’.
“I am both concerned and very angry to learn that the public inquiry is now being scheduled to be held at East Lindsey District Council offices in Manby, which is well outside the direct area, virtually impossible to reach on public transport and therefore disenfranchises the very people that will be directly affected by the proposal,” he said.
With more than 200 people attending the initial inquiry held at Hogsthorpe Village Hall, Coun Enderby claims the application is clearly a matter of great local interest and suggests that by hindering local access the authority may be breaching the Human Rights Act.
Lincolnshire County Council’s ward-holder for the site of the proposed eight turbine development, Coun Colin Davie, has also expressed hi anger at the choice of site.
“Public inquiries should be conducted where the public can participate, not at the whim of a handful or participants to it,” he said.
ELDC’s portfolio holder for economic regeneration Coun Criag Leyland said the choice had been made due to ‘a number of practical issues... such as access to facilities and cost’. “It is important to remember that the council and community are fighting the same battle against this development, which we believe is inappropriate for the area because of the negative impact it would have on the landscape,” he added.
The hearing had been called for February after the death of the previous planning inspector. That previous inquiry had already been adjoined due to ELDC’s procedural failures.