Controversial Nocton Fen wind farm proposals abandoned by developers

Plans for a wind farm in Lincolnshire have been dropped by the applicants after a backlash from local residents opposed to the development.

Swedish energy company Vattenfall held a six-week consultation over its proposals for the wind farm at Nocton Fen which would have seen 20 turbines, 149.5 metres in size, erected on the site.

However, concerns were raised by residents over the size and visual impact on the development.

Photo: Vattenfall

Photo: Vattenfall

An earlier consultation with residents had resulted in the number of turbines suggested being reduced from 23 to 20.

The developers pointed to the Conservative government’s new measures to end subsidies for onshore wind farms from next year as one of the main reasons for their withdrawal.

These reforms, which will mean around 250 projects totalling 2,500 turbines are now unlikely to be built across the country, received the vocal support of Lincolnshire MPs Karl McCartney, Stephen Phillips and Sir Edward Leigh.

Graham Davey, Vattenfall’s Project Manager for the Nocton Fen Wind Energy Project, said: “It’s obviously disappointing to stop development of Nocton Fen as it would have delivered significant benefit locally and generated affordable, clean and renewable energy for tens of thousands of homes every year.

“It was clear that proposed changes to onshore wind planning in England introduced increased risk in the process. Stopping the scheme now is a sensible decision.

“I would like to personally thank the many hundreds of people who have spoken to us and helped shape our plans for a development at Nocton Fen.”

Councillor Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development at Lincolnshire County Council. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Councillor Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development at Lincolnshire County Council. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Councillor Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development at Lincolnshire County Council, welcomed the decision by the developers.

He said: “It’s great news that the applicants have scrapped the proposals for the wind farm at Nocton Fen and I’m delighted for local residents.

“It was made clear to the landowners and the applicants through the consultations that the vast majority of people would not support the application.

“The county council and other local authorities did not support the development in that location because of the impact on views of Lincoln and the surrounding countryside.

“Lincolnshire doesn’t need a single more onshore turbine and I’m pleased that the government’s change in position on subsidies has helped force a re-think in how developers proceed with applications of this kind in the future.”

NKDC Council Leader, Councillor Marion Brighton OBE, added: “This was a significant project in terms of its scale and nature, and we were very conscious of its potential effects on the local area and of the concerns expressed by local communities during pre-application consultations.

“We fully understood the concerns of local residents and those of other agencies in respect of these proposals and, jointly with neighbouring authorities, engaged a planning and environmental consultancy to ensure that local impacts associated with the development were fully considered.

“We welcome Vattenfall’s decision and appreciate them making this announcement so soon after the close of their recent statutory pre-application engagement.

“Their proposals would have been unreasonably intrusive in terms of the landscape character and amenity of local communities and I am sure that this decision not to proceed will be of significant comfort in bringing clarity on Vattenfall’s position in light of the Government’s recent policy announcements.”