The first day of a planning appeal inquiry into a proposed wind farm alongside the A14 heard the developers had chosen an “inappropriate” site.
The appeal has arisen because the application by Cambridge Wind Farm Ltd to build 15, 100-metre high wind turbines between Boxworth and Conington was rejected by South Cambridgeshire District Council.
In yesterday (Tuesday, 17 October)’s opening statements, Morag Ellis QC, representing the 1,650 members of Stop Cambridge Wind Farm Group, voiced the group’s opposition to the wind farm.
She said: “The case, very simply, is that the appellant has selected an inappropriate site. The wind farm, if built, would touch almost every aspect of the lives of local people – it would be visible from many homes, visible as a backdrop to daily life in their villages and travelling along the already difficult A14.”
She said the consequences of the proposal would be “unprecedented”.
With several expert witnesses due to give evidence during the three-week inquiry, she said: “The group’s witnesses are all expert local residents – experts on what it is like to live in the area and the aspects really important to people’s daily lives.”
Tina Douglass, for the council, said it considered the main issues of the appeal would be the size, scale and extent of the development and its effect on the landscape, and aircraft safety if it interfered with radar at Cambridge Airport and noise levels.
And it could also distract drivers on the A14.
She added: “Given the impressively unfortunate results of momentary distraction on this important route, the highways witnesses will urge that precaution advises the refusal of this proposal until the A14 is re-engineered.”
Marcus Trinick, for the developers, said that from the submitted evidence he could not see “one shred of support” other than a “generalised and unsupported fear” for refusing the application on the grounds of driver distraction.
He said the wind farm proposal was a “direct response” to the Government’s policies on climate change and renewable energy.
He said: “There is the clearest imperative to allow this project to proceed, unless one of the matters rai sed by way of objection is so significant as to nullify that imperative.”
Representatives from 12 parish councils are expected to make statements at the inquiry which sits Tuesday to Friday until November 2.
Andrew Pykett, the planning inspector, is due to lead a site visit on Friday, October 27.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding