Almost a hundred interested parties and residents from the Orby area packed into Hogsthorpe Hillage Hall last night (Wednesday, February, 19) for a public inquiry into proposed plans to erect nine wind turbines in the village of Orby.
The inquiry, chaired by HM planning inspectorate George Baird, allowed many concerned residents to air their views to the planning inspectorate, The inquiry is due to close on Friday, whereafter the evidence will be looked at and a final decision made by the Secretary of State Eric Pickles.
Due to ‘new’ evidence on noise, which is not to be heard until April, it is likely a final decision will not be made until the summer of 2014, or even later.
The proposed wind farm falls on a site owned by a Mark Caudwell and plans for a nine-turbine proposal have been rumbling on for over a decade, 14 years in total.
Over the past 12 years, the same applicant has made three applications to build a wind farm in the area.
Residents’ concerns ranged from environmental impacts, such as the effects on wildlife, in particular birds and bats, the knock-on effects on the local landscapes, listed buildings, disruption to public footpaths, disturbance to television and radio signals, increased traffic and potential problems arising from the erection of structures in marshland flood zones and increases in the areas water tables.
Mrs Glanville, speaking on behalf of her family, owners of Boothby Hall, Welton-Le-Marsh, said: “If permission is granted for the nine turbines, this district on the border of Skegness and Orby is likely to become a semi-industrialised concentration, with substantial service traffic, for the forseeable future.”
A Welton-Le-Marsh resident, speaking for himself and his wife who both have long-term health problems, said: “Not everyone can cope with urban life.” He was citing this as the reason he moved to the countryside. If the proposal goes ahead, he said: “The land will become massively industrialised in years.”
“I don’t think we could survive the industrialisation of our surroundings”, he added.
“If wind power must be used, we should use it in appropriate places, Lincolnshire has more than it’s fair share of wind farms.”
A Mrs Watson, who amongst other reasons, highlighted potential disturbance to transmissions of signals, in particular television signals as problems, said: “We have to ask, whether the benefits of this development outweigh the negatives.” She asked for the proposal to be dismissed, describing it as: “greed over need”.
Margaret Cooper, acting chairman of Orby Parish Council, revealed that in a previous survey, carried out in 2011, 82 percent of residents, from 41 per cent of questionnaires returned, were opposed to wind farms, sub-sations and underground cabling.
A recent petition of 100 people, carried out just weeks ago, to stop construction of a wind farm, took in 50 properties on Gunby Road and Burgh Road, who would be directly affected by the site, and only two people declined to sign, explained Mrs Cooper.
“Holiday-makers come to this area to enjoy the seaside and our inland rural locations. There visits are already disrupted by offshore wind farming, we do not want this here, or anything like it,” said Mrs Cooper, who also said only one person would benefit - describing them as ‘one greedy landowner’.
East Lindsey District Coun for Chapel St Leonsard’s ward, Hazel Newscombe, speaking on behalf of local residents, said: “Tourism comes here to get away from industrial life”. And she parodied a quote from Lincolnshire poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson’s, Charge of the light brigade: “Wind turbine to the right of them, wind turbine to the left of them.”
Mr Smithson, who’s farm borders Mr Caudwell’s land, said: “Do we really need nine more turbines inland? Nine soon becomes 19 and so on, let’s hope common sense prevails.”
County Coun Colin Davie, for Ingoldmells rural division, speaking on behalf and as a member of his local community, said: “ No one, other than the appilcant, wants this development to proceed in this location, there is no community gain from it and I would strongly urge you to prevent this development which is so clearly unwanted and harmful to the character of the wider area and it’s people.”