Campaigners have vowed to continue their fight to stop an old Ministry of Defence airfield being turned into an energy park after councillors delayed making a decision on plans for the site.
East Northamptonshire Council’s planning committee was expected to approve plans by Chelveston Renewable Energy Limited to change redundant buildings at Chelveston airfield so they could be used for energy generation.
But after debating the issue at a meeting on Wednesday. the committee deferred a decision until members had visited the site.
Campaigner Dr Alex Gray, of opposition group Preserve, is among nearly 600 people who registered objections about the plans, fearing they could lead to a wind farm and biomass plant on the land.
He said: “We’d have been happier if the council had rejected the plans but we’re very pleased we have another month to prove our case.
“The councillors will have the chance to survey the site and we believe that will show them this is an inappropriate place for this development and will lead them to refuse these plans.
“Nearly 600 people have opposed this along with the parish and town councils which shows the strength of feeling.”
Initial plans in April 2006 suggested the park could include 14 to 17 of the country’s largest wind turbines and a biomass plant which would process animal and plant waste to make electricity. Chelveston Renewable Energy Limited will not comment on its plans at this stage.
An East Northamptonshire Council spokesman said: “Members need to see the site to get a proper appreciation of what is involved and to clarify some of the issues raised with the applicant.”
The matter is expected to return to the planning committee within weeks.
By Catherine Collins
26 May 2007
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