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Wind farm developer criticised over lack of communication  

Eighty villagers attended a public meeting last week to find out more about plans to build a wind farm at Sempringham Fen, near Billingborough.

Although the meeting concentrated on noise and health issues, many villagers voiced concerns about the lack of communication from developers ScottishPower Renewables.

The firm, under its parent company’s name Iberdrola, held public exhibitions in Billingborough and Pointon in February 2006 about the plan to build six turbines, each 395ft tall, at Neslam Farm.

This was the first and last people living in the area heard about the project.

Debbie Wren, chairman of campaign group AGAST – Action Group Against Sempringham Turbines – said: “Other than the exhibitions the developer has failed to engage with the community in any way, leaving us sceptical and fearful for what is coming.

“The less people hear from the developers, the more anti they become.

“We held the meeting as we think it is vital residents understand just what is coming and can at the very least make an informed decision.

“It’s about Fen people talking to other Fen people about these issues.”

Villagers heard presentations from Julian and Jane Davis, who were forced to move out of their Deeping St Nicholas home after a wind farm was built nearby, and anti-wind farm campaigner Miriam Crouch.

Developer ScottishPower Renewables says no further consultation has taken place because the results of an Environmental Impact Assessment are still outstanding.

A spokesman said: “We are working on getting the assessment finished and then we will be able to present the information to the people.

“We pride ourselves on being a responsible developer because of the way we work and the efforts we put into
these studies.

“We have a high percentage of projects go through because of this, but have also walked away from projects where the results of the environmental studies suggest it would not be a suitable site.”

Once the company has consulted with the public and other consultees, the firm hopes to submit a planning application for the project.

The council responsible for determining the application will be South Kesteven District Council, whose development control committee last month rejected an application to build ten turbines in the Vale of Belvoir, near Grantham.

By Jo Hall

Grantham Journal

3 April 2008

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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