A massive wind turbine which could soon be built on the outskirts of Northampton has won the backing of councillors, despite residents’ concerns.
Supermarket firm Asda revealed plans to build a 417ft turbine in the car park of its distribution centre in Brackmills last year.
The firm said the turbine would generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 1,250 homes and prevent the release of more than 5,000 tonnes of CO2.
But people who live close to the supermarket’s base have expressed concern about the size of the turbine, which would be the same height as the Express Lift Tower.
During a meeting of Northampton Borough Council’s planning committee last night, the chairman of Great Houghton Parish Council, Tony Skirrow, said suggestions from planning experts the turbine could be screened by plants were ‘ridiculous’. He said: “Imagine trying to screen the lift tower with leylandii and you’ll understand the sheer naivety of these proposals.”
But members of the borough council’s planning committee gave their support to the turbine.
Councillor Scott Collins (Lib Dem, Eastfield) said: “I think we should embrace this wholeheartedly. We ask businesses to be eco-friendly. So if we were to raise objections to this and the whole thing fell through I think we’d show ourselves up as being daft. We need to accept we have to encourage businesses to be sustainable.”
Only one member of the planning committee expressed any concerns about the turbine. Councillor Michael Hill (Con, Nene Valley) said: “I fail to be convinced.
“I’m all in favour of renewable energy in the right location, but I don’t think this is the right place.”
He was out-voted by nine to one. Instead, the committee agreed to pass on no objections to the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation, which will make a final decision on the plan later in the year.
By Wayne Bontoft
14 February 2008
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