Protesters campaigning against plans to build a giant wind farm in Graveley have won the support of two MPs.
MP for Huntingdon Jonathan Djanogly and MP for South Cambridgeshire Andrew Lansley have joined forces to oppose energy firm npower Renewables’ plan to build eight turbines on the former airfield at Cotton Farm.
Mr Djanogly said: “I see myself as an environmentalist but to me aesthetics are just as much a part of the environment as anything else.
“I am all for alternative energy sources, but not when they are being built in an inappropriate area, build them offshore instead.
“Seven or eight turbines at Graveley would dramatically negatively impact on the Ouse Valley, a place of outstanding natural beauty.”
If given the go ahead the turbines would stand 127 metres tall, twice the height of Ely Cathedral, with the nearest houses in Graveley only 600 metres away.
Mr Lansley said: “Wind turbines can make a useful contribution to renewable energy but they must be well sited. The proposal at Cotton Farm would be highly visually intrusive and would dominate rural landscape views over the Ouse Valley and views from villages like Graveley.”
npower Renewables has said the farm, which has the Offords to the north-west, Great Paxton in the west, Toseland to the south and Graveley to the east, could produce enough electricity to meet the annual needs of up to 10,000 homes.
Mr Lansley added: “A major concern is the issue of noise. Low-frequency noise, especially at night, from turbines means that they must not be located close to homes.
“There are on-shore and, increasingly, off-shore sites for wind farms which are far better options for both efficient energy generation and environmental impact.
“It makes no sense to damage the environment in this part of Cambridgeshire, which will be stressed enough with the rate of development we are accommodating.”
The energy company are expected to submit a proposal in the summer, which will include an environmental statement explaining the impact of the farm and how they believe the effects can be mitigated.
Mr Djanogly added: “To build something that’s taller than St Paul’s Cathedral in the middle of Huntingdonshire’s countryside would have a devastating effect.
“I went to see npower Renewables’ exhibition in The Offords and I told residents then I was against the idea and when a formal planning application is made I will be opposing it.”
5 June 2008