Old Dalby wind turbine plan is refused planning permission

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A proposal to build a 259-feet-high wind turbine in Old Dalby, to the north west of Melton, has been refused by Melton Council’s planning committee.

Applicant Gerd Habenicht, of Six Hills Renewables Ltd, sought planning permission to install the turbine on a field at Six Hills Farm, Paddys Lane, Old Dalby, to generate renewable electricity at the farm.

Planning officers had recommended for the plan to be approved, subject to conditions.

But after lengthy discussion last night (Thursday) the committee voted 8-1 in favour of refusal.

Maurice Fairhurst, who spoke at the planning meeting on behalf of Six Hills Golf Club, claimed the turbine would have been ‘massively damaging’ to the club and players’ golfing experience as well as damaging to the landscape. The committee heard that some of the holes on the golf course were as close as 350 metres to the proposed turbine.

Trevor Hunter, representing the applicant, claimed the turbine would have ‘no unacceptable impacts’ on the relevant landscape area and that the development ‘would bring economic benefit to the local community’ (through an extra source of income to the farmer).

Ward councillor Joe Orson believed there would be a cumulative impact on the landscape, particularly in light of the nine wind turbines which had already been granted planning consent and are currently being built at the Old Dalby wind farm to the north of this site.

Mr Orson also raised concerns about the proposed turbine’s negative impact on the golf club and it causing a ‘major hazard’ for motorists heading along the A46.

He added: “I believe it will bring no economic benefit to the area. It will bring benefit to the landowner but I don’t see any benefit to the ward.”

Committee member Elaine Holmes said the golf club was ‘an asset to the area and a facility for the borough’, adding that the ‘flatness’ of the land would make the turbine even more visible to the harm of the club.

Councillor John Illingworth said: “That golf club attracts people to the area. This turbine won’t just impact that business it will also have an impact on the borough.”

Councillor Gerald Botterill added: “I’m not anti wind farms or green energy but I think it would be far better to have two small turbines rather than this one big one. You can see these great big ones from a long way away.”

The committee refused the application on grounds of the cumulative impact on the landscape, the detrimental impact on the golf club due to its close proximity and height and that the proposed turbine would, by virtue of its height and movement, introduce an new element into the landscape which would be widely visible.