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Plans for wind mast blown out  

Controversial plans for a weather monitoring mast in Preston Capes were thrown out at a meeting last Wednesday.

However, the company behind the proposal has said the decision does not mean a wind farm might not be built on the site in future.

Daventry District Council’s planning committee refused the proposal for the 60-metre high mast on the grounds it would be a danger to low flying aircraft and a visual intrusion to the area.

Councillors voted seven to one in favour of rejecting the plans despite the council’s planning officers recommending they should be given the ahead.

The decision comes after 314 letters of objection were sent to the council.

Six parish councils, including Woodford-cum-Membris, Preston Capes and Farthingstone, objected to the mast, which would have been based at Preston Fields Farm in Charwelton Road.

Nearby Redhouse Farm Airfield also didn’t want the mast to be put up claiming it would impede the established fly zones and it would be dangerous for aircraft to land or take off from the site.

Residents feared the mast would eventually lead to wind turbines being built on the site.

Gavin Cowen, chairman of Preston Capes Parish Council, said after the meeting: “The mast would have been as high as Salisbury Cathedral.

“It would have been huge and there was very strong feeling against it.

“We are very pleased with the way the meeting went.”

Edward Giles, who lives in Preston Capes, told the meeting: “The issue of danger to aircraft safety has not been resolved and the mast is visually intrusive.

“While these issues have not been resolved, this proposal can not go ahead.”

Speaking after the meeting, Bernadette Rodgers, chairman of Woodford-cum-Membris Parish Council, said: “Democracy has supervened in this case.

“I am extremely gratified by the result.”

A spokesman for Nuon Renewables, the company behind the plans, said after the meeting: “The decision to refuse a go-ahead is surprising and disappointing.

“Nuon will give close attention to the details of that refusal before deciding on the appropriate course of action.

“This decision does not affect the other environmental and technical surveys and assessment being carried out on the viability and design of a wind farm at this location and Nuon will at the earliest opportunity advise local councils and interested parties on whether a wind farm proposal will be coming forward.”

l Plans have this week been revealed to put up a similar wind speed measuring mast in Brixworth.

Mercedes Benz, of Quarry Road, Brixworth, and agents Wind Direct have applied to Daventry District Council to install a 60 metre-high mast on land near Mercedes Avenue.

It is thought a decision will made by the council’s planning committee in the New Year.

Daventry Express

20 December 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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