Farmers living close to the wind farm at Coldham are demanding an independent wildlife survey before proposals to build seven more turbines get the go-ahead.
John Scott, whose family have farmed at Bottom Laddus Farm since 1939, and Chris Clark, whose family have been at Lower Corner Farm for generations, claim the turbines put up by the Co-Op at Coldham have driven rare birds from the area.
Mr Scott, a life-long member of the RSPB, said the farmers had prided themselves on nurturing wildlife, and in particular birds, on their farms. And he said the area boasted an array of rarer species of birds including Bitterns, Green Plovers, Marsh Harriers and even migrating Quails.
But since the arrival of the wind farm the birdlife has diminished and the hundreds of Bewick and Whooper swans that used to winter on the farmland have disappeared.
Mr Scott and Mr Clark believe the effect the turbines have on wildlife is being covered up by developers eager to build even more of the windmills.
Mr Scott said a wildlife impact report had been prepared but it had been written by someone employed by the Co-Op. He believes an independent survey should be carried out before any decision is made.
Both men are also concerned about the impact additional turbines will have on their homes and farms and complain the turbines cause noise, flickering and shadowing.
Mr Clark claims the noise generated by the existing turbines is so loud when the wind is in a certain direction it can be heard through his double glazing and is especially bad at night.
“Some nights it’s impossible to get a proper night’s sleep the noise is so bad. The turbines sort of reverberate,” he said.
Mr Scott claims flickering causes problems for workers using complicated farm machinery and is warning there could be an accident as the flickering makes it difficult to concentrate.
Both men want those responsible for building wind turbines to acknowledge the problems they cause.
“The trouble is they deny the turbines make any noise. They don’t accept they cause flickering or shadowing and they deny the problems they cause to wildlife. We just want people to be honest and upfront and admit the truth,” said Mr Scott.
Brian Warby, whose home near Outwell is set to be overshadowed by 12 turbines if the controversial Marshland Wind Farm gets the go-ahead, has seconded everything the two men have said.
He believes the proposed 139 metre high turbines will dominate the landscape close to his smallholding and is worried that his home will suffer the same problems currently faced by those living near the Coldham turbines.
“People have got to realise the truth about these things,” he said.
n At a meeting of Fenland’s planning committee on Wednesday the wind turbine applications, for Coldham and for a single windmill at Creek Fen in March, were deferred for 6-7 weeks.
Members had concerns, in relation to the Anglian Water Authority application for Creek Fen, regarding the affect on horses at the Equestrian Centre nearby.
17 March 2008
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