A wind farm could help power a controversial new eco-town, it has been revealed.
The Co-operative Group is putting forward plans for a 15,000-home development south-east of Leicester.
Now the group has unveiled more details of how the town, which would be called Pennbury, would be eco-friendly.
However, campaigners say a wind farm would further damage the landscape in the area.
The Co-op’s original submission document, given to the Government eight months ago, has been made public for the first time.
The bid says: “We know already that the topography of the site at Pennbury is suited to the production of wind energy.
“It is estimated that it will be possible to supply sufficient electricity for a significant proportion of the residential units from an on-site wind farm.”
It also says residents will be encouraged to monitor their consumption of water, electricity and heat through computer systems fitted in their homes.
Combined heat and power systems will also be used across the town, through an energy services company which will be set up.
Solar power, biomass and energy from waste will also help provide heat and electricity to individual buildings.
The Co-op says Pennbury will be carbon-neutral from day one.
Until the town is big enough to generate its own energy, it will be powered from one of the group’s other wind farms.
One of these, Westmill, is based in South Oxfordshire and is 100 per cent community-owned.
It provides pollution-free electricity for more than 2,500 homes from five turbines which measure 81 metres high.
However, Steve Charlish, a member of the Campaign Against the Stoughton Co-op Eco-Town, said the plan would spoil the countryside.
He said: “I think wind turbines generally are a complete blight on the landscape. Yes, we’ve got to go down the road of tackling climate change and we’ve got to look at renewable energy but these things are best placed out on the coast where there is more wind.
“The Co-op seems to be looking to completely change every aspect of this location. It will have a completely different landscape by having wind turbines. To provide the power they’ll need for a town this size, they will have to get some pretty tall turbines.”
The submission document has been put up by the Co-op on its website.
By Jenny Cornish
Chief Political Reporter
9 June 2008
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