Lincolnshire Pro Wind Alliance petitions council 'over negative wind farm bias'
A group is petitioning the leader of Lincolnshire County Council over claims the authority has a "negative bias" against wind farms.
Lincolnshire Pro Wind Alliance says some councillors are trying to impose their personal views about onshore turbines on the public and are not considering the benefits.
Last year the authority stated it wanted to halt the "unrestrained invasion" of wind farms in the county.
Now it is surveying residents about whether its "tough stand" should be made official policy.
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One member of the new group, James Pocklington, said wind farms are effective and necessary but some councillors "just don't like the look of them".
In its online petition to Conservative county council leader Martin Hill, the alliance states: "We ask you to make decisions based on the facts rather than on prejudice, remain impartial on all planning matters and refrain from using public funds to promote a negative view of onshore wind."
The group says creating a policy against wind farms is a waste of taxpayers' money because it is not up to the county council to approve wind farm planning applications.
Last year councillors approved a statement that would form the basis of responses to wind farm proposals when the authority was consulted.
However, wind farm supporters say the matter should be left to district councils and national government, which have the final say.
The Lincolnshire Pro Wind Alliance has now written to every councillor claiming the authority is creating policies outside of its statutory duties.
The group also disagrees with Cllr Hill's statement last June that there is "questionable science" behind the technology.
Mr Pocklington, 56, said: "We're not asking councillors to support wind farms, we just want them to be impartial.
"It's scare mongering.
"They are not engaging with the facts.
"Wind farms are intermittent but they are efficient and they are excellent at collecting wind energy.
"We disapprove strongly that the county council should be spending taxpayers' money to promote councillors' own personal views. There is not going to be an 'unrestrained invasion'.
"The planning system is robust and we should let it do its job."
Cllr Hill said the survey aimed to find out what factors people wanted to be considered in the planning process.
"We can't understand why anybody would object to us asking residents for their views on what is an important issue unless they're worried the results will oppose their own agenda," he said.
"Our survey is a chance for people to offer their thoughts on wind farms. We're not telling them what to think, and there's no bias to it.
"We can learn their views at no extra cost to the taxpayer."