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Inquiry opens on windfarm plans  

A controversial windfarm debate kicked-off with the first day of a six-week inquiry yesterday.

The Humberland Levels Windfarm public inquiry into two proposed sites started at The Vikings Hotel in Goole, and could last more than six weeks.Ten parties made opening statements at the start of the probe, set to look at plans for a 34-turbine farm at Keadby and a 22-turbine site at Tween Bridge in Thorne.

Renewable Energy Systems (RES), developers of the proposal at Keadby, were represented by Andrew Newcombe, who said the development was ‘a carefully and sensitively designed scheme, which would make a material contribution to the Government’s renewable energy targets for the sub-region, region and the country as a whole’.

He said he believed those who opposed the scheme could overestimate its impact.

“It’s entirely understandable objector organisations and individuals may often have strong views about schemes,” he said.

“And that they publicise those views in order to make sure people are aware of what is going on, in the hope more can be persuaded to add their voice against a given scheme.”

He said objectors joining up in this way were basing their knowledge on secondhand information, without doing their own research.

“There is a real danger of people objecting on the basis of a misunderstanding, and overestimating its impacts,” he added.

Each turbine at the Keadby site, planned for a site near the power station, would be up to 125 metres high, and could generate around 85 megawatts (MW) of electricity.

This is enough – the power company claims – to supply up to 35,000 homes each year.

North Lincolnshire Council, represented at the inquiry by David Manley, said while it recognised the importance of wind energy, it had concerns about the landscape.

Mr Manley said: “In relation to the Keadby proposal, North Lincolnshire’s concerns lie with landscape issues.

“We recognise the importance of moving towards a low carbon economy, and the important role wind energy has in that ambition.”

But he said it should not be achieved at the expense of the landscape and visual nature of the area.

The inquiry begins at 10am every day, and two evening sessions are still to be announced.

One session will be held in Crowle, and the other in Thorne.

For more information on the inquiry, visit www.persona.uk.com/ humberhead


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