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Fight to stop countryside from being 'destroyed'  

Villagers have formed an action group to fight a proposals that would ‘utterly destroy’ the scenic landscape near their homes.

Residents of Preston Capes, Little Preston, Charwelton, Woodford Halse and Canons Ashby have rallied together to form the Woodford Wind Farm Action Group, with the aim of ultimately preventing wind turbines being put up.

Nuon Renewables, a Cornwall-based company, has applied to Daventry District Council for permission to put up a 60-metre meteorological mast for three years on land at Preston Fields Farm, Charwelton Road, Preston Capes. The mast will measure wind speeds and if the results are favourable, Nuon hope to build a ‘small number’ of turbines at the site, which is visible to many of the other surrounding villages.

Speaking on behalf of residents, Marc Hancock said: “If you have ever driven through or visited this area, you will know that this would utterly destroy yet another quintessentially historic and scenic English landscape.

“It would mean yet further erosion of places to walk, explore or just sit and enjoy.

“This location in open countryside, surrounded by so many homes, is definitely not the site to change from agricultural status to industrial.”

Earlier this month, 120 people from Preston Capes and surrounding villages packed into the village church to discuss the proposals for the test mast at a public meeting.

Gavin Cowen, chairman of Preston Capes Parish Council, said: “The meeting went very well. People feel very strongly about this.

“We will be objecting to the mast because it would represent a major hazard to low flying military and amateur aircraft, which we get a lot of round here. It would be extremely dangerous.”

If the bid to block the test mast is successful, it would all but scupper Nuon’s chances of building a wind farm at the site.

The Woodford Wind Farm Action Group has already set up a detailed website, created images of what the wind turbines could look like, distributed posters informing people of the plans, and is urging members of the public to send letters of objection to the council.

Among many concerns, the action group is worried about the noise pollution, the visual impact that a wind farm would cause, and the close proximity to Woodford Halse Primary School and homes. The website – www.woodfordwindfarm.com, is urging people to help it save homes and preserve the landscape.

Another public meeting has been arranged on November 2 in Woodford Halse.

A spokesman for Daventry District Council said the planning application for the mast would be discussed at a ‘later date’ – possibly at the next planning committee meeting on November 14.

Members of the public can make comments on the application right up until the meeting is held.

* Earlier this year, Gamesa Energy UK was granted permission by the district council to put up a 70-metre wind monitoring mast on land between Long Buckby and Watford for up to two years, to test if the site would be suitable for a wind farm.

Daventry Express

17 October 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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