Council leader tells inquiry that local people should decide and they do not want six more wind turbines

PUBLISHED: 15:42 26 April 2013 | UPDATED: 14:28 27 April 2013

County council leader Nick Clarke

County council leader Nick Clarke

Archant

COUNTY council leader Nick Clarke told a public inquiry in Wisbech today that local people should decide local issues – and that includes rejecting a six 126 metre high wind turbines.

Cllr Clarke said it was “my pleasure to speak at the inquiry to strongly oppose the wind farm”.

He said after giving evidence that “I made the point that whilst I am not an expert on planning I do have the largest democratic mandate, representing all 680,000 people of Cambridgeshire.”

An eight day inquiry is under way at the Boathouse into an application – rejected by South Holland and Fenland councils- for a wind farm to be run by Wind Ventures Ltd between Gorefield and Sutton St James.

Cllr Clarke said: “I believe that the will of Parliament is not being heard. Government is clear.

“A key plank of its policy is localism which means decisions being made at the lowest practical level.

“In this case, local people, the parish council, the district council, the local county councillor and local MP don’t want the wind farm. Local opinion should carry significant weight or we create a democratic deficit.”

Secondly he said the planning system was being brought into disrepute since “what is the point of the planning process, which embeds democratic accountability at its core, if the decision can be overturned by a planning inspector? This seems out of step with localism.”

He also explained the decision of “my Cabinet to not allow any further wind farms on the 33,000 acres of county council land because faith in the planning process had been lost. We are elected to represent the views of local people and their voices must be heard. “

Others giving evidence today and opposed to the wind farm include MP Steve Barclay and MEP Roger Helmer.

Local Conservative councillor Steve Tierney and local Lib Dem councillor Gavin Booth also spoke against the turbine plan.

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