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Campaigners clash over turbines

A storm is gathering pace over a proposed new wind farm.

A campaign group in favour of a small wind farm comprising three turbines on land between Benington and Watton-at-Stone has been set up to counter another group which is opposed to the project.

Chris Stichbury is running the newly formed Yes 2 Benington Wind Farm, which supports R H Bott & Sons’ plans to develop the farm.

Mr Stichbury said: “It is expected that the Benington project will supply enough power for 3,000 homes. To put that into perspective, that’s equivalent to three villages the size of nearby Watton-at-Stone.

“The public now recognises the attractiveness of wind power.”

Mr Stichbury added: “An ICM survey for Greenpeace, undertaken in 2004, discovered that 80 per cent support government plans to significantly increase the number of wind turbines in Britain, with just eight per cent opposed, and 70 per cent would support the development of a wind farm in their area.

“We should not therefore be distracted by the vocal ‘no’ campaign that is so clearly out of line with the public mood.”

The Comet was unable to contact anyone from Stop Benington Wind Farm (SBWF) before going to press but the campaign’s website explains its reasons for opposing the project.

The website says: “Anyone who feels strongly about this should speak up. Please do not leave this to others.

“We are small communities and your voice counts. If built, these turbines will dominate the horizon for miles around.

“We must save the historical landscape of Cotton Lane and High Elms Lane. The significant change to the character and appearance of the landscape caused by wind turbines hugely outweighs the benefits in terms of renewable energy consumption.”

A formal planning application for the project is due to be submitted in the coming weeks.

For more information on both campaigns, visit www.stopbeningtonwindfarm.co.uk or www.yes2beningtonwindfarm.com

The Comet

20 September 2007