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Time To Have Your Say On Wind Farm Plans

By Candy Stallard

A public meeting is being held to discuss proposals for a windfarm near Greatworth.

Helmdon, Stuchbury and Greaworth Windfarm Action Group (HSGWAG) has invited local residents to the meeting in Greatworth Primary School, which starts at 8 pm on Tuesday, July 27, to find out more about the plans.

The windfarm proposal by Broadview Energy is for five giant turbines situated between the three villages that could bring clean energy to homes in the area.

In a statement, HSGWAG said: The likely contribution of the Spring Ridge windfarm to the cause of carbon free electricity generation will not justify the major impact, which the scheme would have, on small-scale landscape between the villages.’

The meeting will give community members an opportunity to learn more about the proposal and discuss any personal or environmental effects the plans may have.

At the same time an orange blimp will be flown in the sky, at 125 metres, marking the height of the wind turbines at their highest point of rotation.

The event is a response to Broadview Energy’s recent second public exhibition, where updated plans of the layout, size and location of the wind turbines were shown.

HSGWAG chairman Keith Jones said: ‘It appears that the positioning of the proposed turbines has been altered by Broadview meaning the closest one to Greatworth is now about 800 metres from the village.  It means that it will now be viewed by a greater number of people, particularly at first floor level.’

The exhibition on July 13 also gave the onshore windfarm company a chance to discuss various assessments that had been competed, including the Environmental Impact Assessment, which considers a projects effect on the environment.

After the recent assessments the number of turbines was reduced from the six originally planned to the current five.

Olly Buck, project manager at Broadview Energy said:  'Public feedback has been used in conjunction with environmental and technological assessments to grow our initial proposal into a windfarm plan that best suits the local area.

‘We continue to encourage the public’s engagement and feedback throughout the planning and development process.

It was decided by Broadview Energy that the South Northamptonshire location was suitable for various reasons, including good road access, absence of areas of nature conservation, and good wind resource.

But the action group fighting against the windfarm said: ’HSGWAG believe that land-based windfarms can make a meaningful contribution only when sited where the average wind speed allows them to operate at a reasonable level of efficiency. This precludes much of lowland Britain.

Broadview Energy have promised the wind farm will also bring benefits to the local area including a community fund of £25,000 - £30,000 a year.

But with claims that the wind turbines will be visible from Buckinghamshire and Banbury, HSGWAG is worried about the impact on the countryside.

Mr Jones said: ‘We hope that the meeting will attract a large crowd eager to learn more about how this proposal could result in our otherwise beautiful unblemished landscape being turned into an industrial site.’

Broadview Energy’s planning application is due to be submitted to South Northamptonshire Council in September.

If approved construction and operation of the Spring Ridge windfarm could begin in 2011.

Brackley & Towcester Advertiser – 23 July 2010




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