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Villagers step up fight to stop 2 wind farms

www.mansfieldtoday.co.uk

Determined campaigners battling to stop wind farms being built between Bilsthorpe and Eakring have stepped up their campaign.

Developers want to build seven giant turbines at two locations ““”“ the former Bilsthorpe Colliery site and Stonish Hill, near Eakring.

Planning chiefs at Newark & Sherwood District Council are expected to decide whether to give developers the greenlight at a meeting in October.

Angry residents in both villages say the plans will change their way of life and have set up campaign groups, the Eakring Turbine Action Group (ETAG) and Bilsthorpe Residents Against Turbines.

ETAG vice-chairman Shirley Burnett urged councillors to stop the plans ““”“ claiming they would damage the countryside and make life a misery for nearby residents.

“It is a totally inappropriate location for this size and scale of a wind farm. We are not against renewable energy, just against it on unsuitable sites,” Shirley told Chad.

Surveys by ETAG have revealed that more than eight out of 10 residents in Eakring are against the proposals and almost 500 locals have written letters of objection.

It is believed the turbines will be 110 metres high, with a blade span of 80 metres, and the nearest homes in Eakring are only 500-metres away from the wind farm.

Added Shirley: “Both sites are in conservation areas and we just cannot see how a wind farm is going to benefit local residents.

“Every aspect of the development will be detrimental to us. It will provide little or no local employment and we will not even receive the electricity directly as we expect it to be pumped into the National Grid.”

The planning application at Bilsthorpe has been put forward by Harworth Power, a subsidiary of UK Coal, and spokesman Stuart Oliver said: “We want the scheme to be judged on its planning merits. The country is progressing steadily towards greener forms of energy and windfarms are an integral part.

“As an energy producer UK Coal feels it has an important role to play in the country producing 10 per cent of its energy supplies from renewable sources by 2010.”

A spokesman for Newark & Sherwood District Council was unable to confirm whether the application would be discussed at October’s Planning Committee.

30 August 2006