Turbines standing almost 400 feet tall could be a dramatic new feature on Boston’s landscape if a proposed wind farm gets the go-ahead.
Ten turbines, each measuring around one-and-a-half-times the height of Boston Stump, are being planned for an area of farmland alongside the A16 between Sibsey and Stickney, less than six miles north of Boston.
The Needham Wind Farm would be larger than any other wind farm currently operating for more than 40 miles around, with its turbines clearly visible from the northern side of Boston, as well as from villages such as Old Leake and Butterwick.
The company behind the plan is Spanish energy giant Iberdrola, the world’s largest provider of renewable energy.
Iberdrola project engineer Mark Wisniewski said: “This is the very initial stage of the development process ““ we’re considering the site’s potential. There’s a very good wind source in the area and that’s why you have developers looking at appropriate sites around the Fens.”
Iberdrola has already submitted an 82-page ‘scoping report’ to both Boston Borough and East Lindsey District Councils, and will now begin a major assessment of the wind farm’s likely impact.
This will include consultation with interest groups such as the RSPB and the Environment Agency. Public consultation is also planned further down the line.
The proposed 394-foot turbines would together produce enough electricity to power more than 12,000 homes. The Government sees wind farms as playing a key role in the battle against global warming.
But Iberdrola may have a fight on its hands from nearby residents.
Deputy chairman of Stickney Parish Council Brian Wood said that wind farms were ‘a folly best built out at sea’.
He said: “I can only speak for myself at this stage, but my initial reaction is not positive at all. The aesthetic impact and the noise for local residents are major concerns.
Beauty is in the eye of beholder, of course, but I think if you tried to build any other structures at that height, generating that noise, they would be refused.”
If the company decides to proceed with its plan following the environmental assessment, council planning permission would still have to be granted before construction work could begin.
28 March 2007
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