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Date set for inquiry into controversial wind turbine application next year  

The fate of Bradwell’s controversial wind farm could still be in the hands of the people as a public inquiry is planned for the New Year.After nearly two years of plans, debate, protest and appeal, a public inquiry will be held in February by the Government’s planning inspectorate to help determine whether or not 10 400ft wind turbines will be allowed to be built on Hockley Farm in Bradwell-on-Sea.

The application by energy firm npower renewables was originally turned down by Maldon District Council in July because of its aesthetic and environmental impact on the area, its noise levels, and its potential effect on Southend Airport’s operations.

Npower submitted an appeal to the planning inspectorate in August in the hope they will overturn the council’s decision.

Chairman of BATTLE (Bradwell and Tillingham Tackling Lost Environment) Neil Yates claims the public inquiry gives hope to opponents to the wind farm.

He said: “We were not pleased when the application went to appeal, but we are very pleased it is going to be a public inquiry.

“We have already appointed somebody who will represent us at the inquiry.

“We are in the process of finding local experts with first hand knowledge of the area who can back up our reasons for campaigning against the application.

“There is more hope now because people will be able to give their views and opinions as part of the inquiry.

“The worry is even if the inspector agrees with us and with Maldon District Council, it has been known for their opinion to be overturned because of Government pressure. We hope this does not happen.”

Maldon MP John Whittingdale said: “I have always thought local people should be able to decide whether there is a development like this because it is they who have to live with it.

“The district council have given many reasons why they believe the Dengie should not have this wind farm and as it is the will of the people I believe this should be the end of it.”


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