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Wind farm fans a wave of anger among villagers  

A formal objection to plans to build a wind farm will be submitted after dozens of protesters met to discuss how to prevent the scheme going ahead.It was standing room only in Knighton Village Hall for the Loggerheads Parish Council meeting over plans to build seven 110-metre high turbines at Bearstone, near Woore.

Nuon Renewables has applied to North Shropshire District Council for permission to develop at Poplar Lane, arguing that the development would show a commitment to renewable energy.

But campaign group Veto On Rural Turbine Expansion (Vortex) presented its case during last night’s meeting.

Co-ordinator Terry May said: “We voted firstly about Nuon’s non-appearance, because we felt that they should have been there and we wanted to express disquiet.”

A vote was also taken by the parish council to decide that campaigners would be consulted before a decision was made over whether Nuon could use land belonging to the parish.

A third count, of everyone present, was unanimously against the windfarm.

Mrs May added: “People would have liked to have asked the questions of Nuon.

“We can’t answer a lot of them and can only tell them what we have read in the documents.”

Vortex has already published leaflets to inform residents about the plans.

Campaigners have also floated a blimp bearing the word “No” over the site, and sent out 7,000 objection cards.

Mrs May and fellow Vortex member Roger Wythcherley brought numerous plans and diagrams to the meeting as they put forward six arguments against the plans.

They were: construction access problems, environmental impact, visual impact, safety, noise and shadow flicker caused by sunlight travelling through blades.

Mr Wythcherley added: “It went really well.

“One or two people there tried to point us in the right direction.”

Staffordshire county councillor Frank Chapman recommended that the campaign focus on visual impact, rather than just the shadow flicker issue.

He told the meeting: “I would suggest that the majority of the people here are unhappy with visual impact and that is the grounds that have drawn results time and time again.”

It was one of several presentations Vortex had made to local parish councils this week.

Mr Wythcherley said: “It is really to get all the focus centred, and to keep everyone involved and keep up the hype.

“It is important that people put their objections in, because that is the only way the planning officers will know if people are for or against it.”

Vortex member Steve Ellsmoor added: “Everyone there was totally opposed to the application and there were one or two arguments made about how it should be opposed.”

Project manager Graham Davey told The Sentinel on May 19 that Nuon was a responsible operator which would comply fully with planning standards and conditions.

He added: “We feel that the proposal is of a scale appropriate to the setting and the contemporary rural economy.”

Loggerheads Parish Council will now make its views known to planners.

George Oliver

The Sentinel

6 June 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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