Public consultations started on Monday in advance of an anticipated planning application being submitted by the Marshland Wind Farm Consortium.
Representatives of the consortium, Notus Energy – who will be building the turbines, and Enercon – the manufacturers, were at Outwell Playing Field Hall to officially unveil plans for the controversial scheme.
Bruce Pittingale, spokesman for the consortium, explained the public consultation was the first step towards submitting an application to BUR (formerly Department for Trade and Industry).
Visitors were invited to discuss their concerns and fill out a survey during the exhibition, which included computer generated images of what the wind farm will look like, as well as a plan highlighting the position of each of the proposed 19 turbines.
Mr Pittingale said experts had carried out research to find the optimum number of turbines and also the best size for the scheme.
Originally the farm could have seen as many as 26 two megawatt turbines, but while the number has been reduced to 19, the size of turbines has been increased to three megawatts.
Among the first people to visit the exhibition was Hugh Langston, deputy chairman of protest group FLAT (Fenland Landscape Against Turbines).
He was deeply concerned to discover there will be a cluster of six turbines around 500 to 600 metres from his home.
Mr Langston fears the wind farm will leave him unable to sell his £250,000 home – which he bought a few years ago when he moved up from Kent because of the beautiful views it had.
He is not against turbines in principle but believes they should be located away from residential areas.
Brian Warby, who will have turbines around 1,200 metres from his home, is concerned about noise and flickering.
But Richard Kowitz, of German-based Notus Energy, who will be project manager for the wind farm, said they had heard all these concerns before and had done their best to address them.
And Henri Joppien, of German firm Enercon, who will be manufacturing the turbines, explained the models chosen for Marshland St James do not have a gearbox, which is one of the factors that adds to the noise generated.
He said tests show turbines create around 103 decibels of noise at the point of the hub and this decreases with distance. Both he and Mr Kowitz emphasised the proposed turbines met all regulations.
Mr Pittingale said each turbine would create enough energy to power around 1,300 homes.
The Outwell consultation was the first of three public meetings being held this week.
Yesterday the exhibition was at Emneth and the final one is being held at the Jubilee Hall, Marshland St James on Friday between 4pm and 9pm.
The consortium Marshland Wind Farm Ltd has said the Marshland St James locality stands to receive almost £500,000 if the development goes ahead, and it would be up to the village to decide how it would spend the money.
Feelings have been running high ever since residents first caught wind of the potential scheme.
By Sue Irving
Published Date: 12 March 2008
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