Government refuses appeal plans for Fenland wind farm but approves another in region

THE Government’s refusal to allow one wind farm but to refuse another near March has been branded a disgrace.

Planning Inspector Jill Kingaby said the benefits of building nine 110m tall wind turbines at Staffurth’s Bridge Farm, Flood’s Ferry, March, would outweigh the harm arising.

But Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, disagreed and refused the application.

However a three-wind turbine farm at Burnt House Farm, West Fen Drove, near Whittlesey, was given the go-ahead after Mr Pickles agreed the plans had economic and environmental benefits.

Ian Edgar, FenRats chairman, said: “I don’t see how they can approve of one but refuse the other.

“I don’t understand their mentality and in my opinion the Secretary of State shouldn’t have approved any of them. It’s a disgrace.

“Any appeal should have both sides fairly represented but the inspector has their hands tied. They are advised by the government to recommend plans for wind farms even when they don’t want to.

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“It’s a relief that the country has only got to pay for three turbines that are not fit for purpose rather than 12.”

Scottish Power Renewables appealed the decision by Fenland District Council to refuse the Floods Ferry Farm proposal last year after councillors thought it would have a harmful visual impact in combination with existing wind farms.

Ms Kingaby said: “The council’s case suffered serious flaws. It was based wholly upon a visual assessment prepared by the council’s landscape witness which is incorrectly calibrated and unduly pessimistic.”

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