Villagers in Bottesford said an emphatic “no” last night to plans for a huge wind farm close to their homes.
Hundreds attended a meeting to present their views to Melton Borough Council’s head of regulatory services Jim Worley, who will feed back to councillors on the planning committee. The committee has been asked for its views by South Kesteven District Council planners, who are dealing with the application.
Feelings were running high and the meeting threatened to spiral out of control when borough councillor David Wright, who chaired the meeting, refused to allow villagers to vote on whether they support the wind farm plans or not.
This was ignored and the vast majority of people stood up to show their opposition to the project planned for Thackson’s Well, near Long Bennington.
Villagers’ major concerns were the turbines’ inefficiency and high level of subsidies, health effects, visual impact, noise, the effect on wildlife, environmental impact of constructing the wind farm, devaluation of properties and the planning process.
Joyce Farnese, from Bottesford, said: “What we are talking about here is a rural power station.
“If this wind farm was passed, it would be the equivalent of saying, ‘Hydro-electric power is wonderful, let’s put a hydro-electric station on the River Devon’.”
Ian Page, from Long Bennington, asked: “Would anyone in their right mind build a business park that employs 750 people and eight villages within two miles of an already established wind farm? The answer is no, so why should we be put in that position?”
Colin Love, from Bottesford, summed up villagers’ concerns about how the application will be determined.
He said: “It would be quite wrong for any planning committee to take a decision unless they could assure every one of us that they had read thoroughly through the material and understood the implications of what they have read.”
The meeting followed a public exhibition by Dorset-based Infinergy, which hopes to build ten turbines each 410ft tall. Employees stayed for the meeting but did not take part.
Melton Borough Council’s planning committee meets on Tuesday, January 29 when they will formalise their views on the application to be sent to SKDC.
By Jo Hall
15 January 2008
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