Hard work pays off as park gets the nod

YEARS of research, planning and consultation have paid off for green energy company Ecotricity with approval of its proposals for a wind park in Lincolnshire.
With a generating capacity above 50MW, the project at Heckington Fen was considered to be infrastructure of national importance, with such planning applications determined by central government.
Ecotricity founder 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 consultees such as English Heritage, RSPB or Natural England. That’s quite rare and a sign of what a strong project this is.”
Vince said the scheme will power the equivalent of almost 40,000 homes for the next 25 years. “Harnessing Britain’s wind energy is the only way that we as a nation can break the cycle of endlessly increasing energy bills – where price rises are driven by the global energy markets.
“We’re grateful to the Secretary of State for his decision in the face of considerable political hot air right now on the subject of windmills, and we’d also like to thank the many people in the local community that wrote letters of support for the project.”
Heckington Fen wind park will generate up to 66MW of clean energy, estimated to save almost 60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere each year.
Ecotricity’s planning application was submitted in December 2009 to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989.

The background

· The company held three public exhibitions while finalising in-depth environmental studies
· In 2011, Ecotricity submitted a 1,000-page environmental statement on the proposal
· In July 2012 the proposal was debated at a public inquiry after which a planning inspector made his recommendation to energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey