The 20-turbine Nocton Fen Wind Energy Project was cancelled after a combination of local opposition and changes to renewable energy planning laws by the Conservative Government.

The changes to planning regulations for wind farms means Nocton Fen is one of the first major wind energy projects to be cancelled under new laws.

Increased risk

Vattenfall project manager Graham Davey 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.”

The site at Nocton Fen was originally investigated for the potential to supply an installed capacity of more than 50MW of wind energy.

No support

The decision to end the project was met was praised by some local residents. Members of the Protect Nocton Fen committe released a statement on a local blog: “By this afternoon, the project had been withdrawn on the Government’s National Infrastructure Planning Portal. This is the news that we have long hoped for and a result of many months of hard work.”

Lincolnshire Councillor Colin Davie said: “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.”

The Government recently confirmed the end to onshore wind subsidies. Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said last month: ““We are driving forward our commitment to end new onshore wind subsidies and give local communities the final say over any new wind farms.”

Small-scale wind turbine developers recently challenged Communities Secretary Greg Clark over planning guidance for small wind turbines, claiming the changes to regulations had made it hard for local businesses to invest in small wind projects.

Matt Field

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