May 22, 2008

Anger at Milton Keynes’ school windfarm plan

A crop of five 45ft wind turbines planned for a school playing field has sparked furious protests from nearby residents.

The turbines will provide part of the energy supply needed by Hazeley School.

The school head is among those backing the planning application by Milton Keynes Council, saying the turbines would be a valuable learning tool for students.

But residents are raising a petition against the plan. Ten have written letters objecting to the scheme due to go to the city planning committee meeting tonight (Thursday).

The council confirms that one turbine would be only 85 metres from the nearest house, breaching its own policy which sets a minimum distance of 350 metres from homes.

But it pledges to run tests ensuring the devices meet noise and vibration constraints.

Residents say the turbines – standing twice as high as the school – would be an eyesore and completely out of character in a residential area.

Mike Bailey, of Garwood Crescent, Grange Farm, said locals were suggesting the estate be renamed ‘Little Holland’ and the city twinned with Amsterdam.

Council officers recommending approval of the scheme said the ‘visual impact of the proposals and the potential noise issues have to be balanced against the need to encourage renewable forms of energy’.

Mercedes-Benz is on a collision course with Scania Trucks – and looks like emerging without even a scratched fender.

The elite German car company plans to extend its Tongwell HQ to accommodate 350 staff currently based at Caldecotte.

But Tongwell near neighbour Scania says it is only providing 202 extra parking spaces and is ‘extremely frustrated’ by the number of Mercedes-Benz staff cars parked on main road into the estate, Delaware Drive.
However, Council officers are impressed by Mercedes-Benz promise to bring in a travel plan to cut car commuting and are recommending
approval of an application to the city planning committee tonight.

The company says it is to introduce more home-working, encourage
cycling and use of public transport.

It is seeking the go-ahead for three-storey new offices, a three-deck car park and five 15metre wind turbines.

Great Linford Parish Council is also worried by the prospect of more cars in and out of Tongwell that will ‘seriously impact on traffic using Brickhill Street, employees and visitors to Tongwell industry’ and access for residents of some 400 homes in Bolbeck Park.

It wants the council to take a closer look at the plan.

By Doug Smith

Milton Keynes Citizen

22 May 2008

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