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Villagers air protests at wind turbine plans

www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk

FURIOUS residents have launched a campaign to stop seven 100m tall wind turbines being built near their village.
Villagers in Thorney, near Peterborough, are determined to block plans for the looming electricity generators at Nutsgrove Farm, Scolding Drove, which would stand almost three times as high as the towers of Peterborough Cathedral.

The plans, which have been submitted to Peterborough City Council, have fired up villagers already protesting against proposals for seven turbines at Wryde Croft, also near Thorney.

Residents claim the picturesque countryside around the historic village is quickly becoming a dumping ground for the massive structures.

There are already eight similar turbines at Grassmere Bank, in south Lincolnshire, eight at Elm, near Wisbech, and eight at Deeping St Nicholas.

In addition, plans for another nine turbines at Stag’s Holt, near March, have been submitted to Fenland District Council this month.

Hugh Cave (74), who has lived in Thorney all his life, said: “A Government body has just looked at renewable energy and said turbines shouldn’t be built within a mile of any dwelling.

“I hope the council bears this in mind.”

Chairman of Fenland Against Rural Turbines Phillip Potts is leading the fight against the planned turbines, which will have rotating blades, each with a diameter of 84m.

He said: “There has been a meeting in Thorney, and people are dead against the idea.

“As a group, we are very pro-alternative energy, but the money being poured into wind turbines is completely out of proportion given its power output.

“Would you buy a washing machine if it only worked every third day? Well, many of these turbines only operate twice a week when the wind is strong enough.

“Meanwhile, relatively little money is going into technology surrounding wave and water-generated energy, which consistently provides high amounts of good, clean energy.”

Cllr John Bartlett, who represents the Eye and Thorney ward, said: “These turbines seems to be very high, and I am concerned about their impact on the village.”

The plans for the Nutsgrove Farm generators are currently available for public inspection at Bridge House, Town Bridge, Peterborough, and are due to go before the city council’s planning committee in September.

Reports carried out by Bristol-based WPR Wind Ltd say that the turbines will pose a “negligible” risk to rare birds in the nearby Nene Wash nature sanctuary.

The turbines could power 7,500 homes a year and save between 19,000 and 31,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

Euan Cameron, managing director of Wind Prospect, one of the companies which make up WPR Ltd, said: “We take a very responsible attitude and recently decided to scrap plans for turbines at Morris Fen, near Thorney, because we were told there would be too many in that area. But we think the proposal for Nutsgrove Farm is acceptable.

“The turbines generate about 30 per cent of their maximum capacity, but they do not burn fossil fuels, unlike electricity stations. Their ability to generate power is practically limitless.”