Thorpe Arnold wind turbine plan is refused by Melton Council’s planning committee

Twinlakes director Phil Bendall spoke out against the turbine plans EMN-150506-114234001
Twinlakes director Phil Bendall spoke out against the turbine plans EMN-150506-114234001
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The turbine was proposed to be installed on land at Crosher’s Farm, off Melton Spinney Road - about 1.4km to the north east of Melton.

Melton Council planning officers had recommended for the scheme to be approved, subject to conditions, giving their opinion that the proposal would be acceptable in terms of its visual impact and wouldn’t have an adverse impact upon any heritage assets in the area.

But after much consideration, and taking on board concerns raised by residents and Twinlakes, the council’s planning committee decided on Thursday to refuse planning permission.

The council received 20 representations from objectors who had serious concerns about the turbine, including its visual impact on the landscape, impact on residents’ health and quality of life and impact on Twinlakes which is only 100-175m from the boundary of the proposed site.

Park director Phil Bendall told the committee: “We spend an enormous amount of money on landscaping throughout the park. That’s done because visitors expect it to be pleasant and beautiful.

“A wind turbine is not attractive and it would be just 100 metres from where children and families would play and where attractions are.”

In a letter read out to the committee Byron Rhodes, county councillor for the Belvoir division, claimed the turbine would be a ‘significant intrusion for residents of Thorpe Arnold who would see it all of the time from their homes.’

Planning committee member and borough ward councillor Elaine Holmes said: “This turbine would be a detriment to Twinlakes and to the landscape. It’s a beautiful area.”

Councillor Gerald Botterill added: “It’s very near to Twinlakes. They’ve improved the site and children love it. We should look after it. Solar panels could be put in that field instead and I’m sure it wouldn’t bother anyone.”

The committee refused the application on grounds including its impact on the landscape and being a prominent feature in the open countryside. Members also felt the negative impacts of the turbine outweighed the ‘limited benefits’ of its generation of renewable energy and that it would be an intrusive, over-dominant feature to the detriment of Twinlakes Park. The application was also deemed contrary to planning policy OS2 of the Melton Local Plan.