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Green light for two major onshore wind farms in England and Wales

by on February 14, 2013

Two major onshore wind farms with a combined capacity of over 110 megawatts have obtained planning approval – one in England and the other in Wales.

The larger of the two schemes was Ecotricity’s 22-turbine project at Heckington Fen in Lincolnshire. The 66 MW wind farm was the subject of section 36 Electricity Act 1989 consent from energy secretary Ed Davey.

It had been supported by North Kesteven District Council officials but opposed by members, this prompted a public inquiry. The planning inspector recommended the wind farm should go-ahead.

The scheme, set to be the fourth largest onshore wind farm in England, has been over four years in planning and development.
Ecotricity chief executive Dale Vince said: “Heckington Fen is a superb location for a wind park, probably the best we’ve ever seen.

“The planning department from North Kesteven District Council recommended the application for approval and we had no objections from any of the statutory consul tees such as English Heritage, RSPB or Natural England. That’s quite rare and a sign of what a strong project this is.”

Before the scheme can climb off the drawing board the company must demonstrate satisfactory mitigation measures in respect of radar disturbance at a nearby military base.

The second large wind farm to get the green light was RWE npower’s Mynydd y Gwair project earmarked for common land some eight miles north of Swansea.

The 48 MW scheme was approved by the city council after the developer reduced the height and the number of turbines involved, cut back from 19 to 16 machines.

Earlier proposals for the same location had been opposed by the planning authority, dismissed on appeal, approved following a High Court challenge but rejected by a subsequent Appeal Court ruling.

Because common land is involved the scheme still requires clearance by the Welsh Government.

Roger Milne

14 February 2013


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