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Wind farm inquiry hears evidence

Plans for what has been described as the largest wind turbine power station in lowland England are being considered by a government planning inspector.

A public inquiry into the plans for Romney Marsh opened on Tuesday.

Environmental campaigners, including the RSPB and English Nature, say the 26 turbines on the Kent and Sussex border would threaten thousands of birds.

Npower renewables claims the wind farm will bring pollution-free power to 75% of local homes and have minimal impact.

Authorities which have objected to the plan include Kent County Council, Shepway District Council and Camber Parish Council in Rye, East Sussex.

Conservationist Professor David Bellamy has opposed the wind farm plans.

And Professor Philip Scott, from the University of London, has said the wind farm would be a “desecration” of the landscape and “a wanton waste of one of our remaining wildernesses”.

Protesters say the wind farm is the largest proposed so far in lowland England.

The energy firm said the project would prevent the release of about 130,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year.

Speaking prior to the inquiry, Simon Wells, of npower renewables, told BBC Radio Kent: “As with all our wind farm sites, we have undertaken a great deal of work on all aspects of this before submitting an application.

“We have three years worth of surveys. We believe these surveys show no significant impact.”

Npower renewables was formed in May 2004 when National Wind Power combined with the Innogy Hydro and co-firing businesses.