Wind mast needs bird deflector

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AN ENERGY firm has been told it must install bird protecting deflective panels on an 80 metre wind mast as originally agreed in its planning application.

RWE npower renewables had its appeal to remove a condition that the anemometer’s guide ropes be fitted with bird deflectors overturned by East Lindsey District Council last week.

Although it had included the bird protecting devices in its original application, RWE believed they were surplus to requirements following its own investigations and built the wind mast at land near Wainfleet without them.

Planning officers have now insisted the energy firm complies with its original application.

The mast was built to gauge the site’s suitability as a wind farm, for which RWE has already submitted an application to build four 127 metre turbines.

Wainfleet Windfarm Action Group (WWAG), which opposes the anemometer and the proposed wind farm, believe the energy firm’s disregard of planning conditions shows it as a disreputable developer that should not be trusted.

Group chairman Melvin Grosvenor said: “The developers have acted in a cavalier fashion to disobey the inspector’s decision.

“If RWE cannot be trusted to put up a mast correctly, the local community can have very little confidence that they will be trusted to put up a wind farm.

“We call on RWE to drop the whole application and admit it’s a poor site.”

Mr Grosvenor and his fellow campaigners also feel that the planning inspectors insistence on the inclusion of bird deflectors highlights the dangers to the bird community posed by the wind farm itself.

“We know there’s a significant bird population in the area and therefore it will be an even bigger issue if the wind farm goes ahead,” he said.

Currently RWE’s wind farm application has been suspended until it can demonstrate to ELDC how it will mitigate against the possible negative impact it would have on the surrounding environment and infrastructure.