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Turbines taller than Big Ben planned

Wind turbines taller than Big Ben and nearly the height of the London Eye could be on their way to fields between Lubenham and Gartree.

A Cumbrian company, Energy4All, is hoping to build four 125-metre tall, 90-metre wide turbines on farmer James Wright’s land and the firm has already applied for planning permission for an anemometer mast at the site to check wind speed and direction.

But concerned residents in Lubenham fear the turbines plan may have slipped under the radar.

After an informal meeting of about 30 people at The Coach and Horses pub in the village last Thursday, volunteers have now been going door-to-door in Lubenham informing people of the turbines proposal.

Shaughan Ferguson, of School Lane, Lubenham, said the anemometer was the thin end of the wedge, and added: “These turbines would be more than two-and-a-half times the height of Harborough’s St Dionysius Church. I have been doing some primary research into wind farms and it’s not a case of Not In My Back Yard – it’s a case of Not In Anyone’s Back Yard. These should be placed off-shore, not on-shore.”

He said the turbines would be majorly out-of-keeping with the countryside and cause a low-frequency noise disturbance.

Another concerned resident Peter Schofield, of Westland Close, Lubenham, added: “The extreme west of Harborough such as The Woodlands, parts of Knoll Street, Gardiner Street, Highcross Street, Logan Crescent and Lubenham Hill would be affected.”

Farmer Mr Wright, of Husbands Bosworth, who is aged in his late 70s and has been working the land between Lubenham and Gartree since the 1960s said Energy4All approached one of his sons about the idea.

He said he would rather not comment, saying the plan was still a while away, but added that people vigorously opposed the building of Gartree Prison at the time before eventually getting used to it.

The land in question is used for livestock farming.

Helen Jackson, a spokesman for Energy4All, confirmed the specifications of the turbines and added: “You have to have a combination of off-shore and on-shore wind power solutions. Mainly, the cost for building off-shore wind farms is enormous due to it being on the sea bed and maintenance requires ships to attend.”

She added that the four turbines would generate a total maximum capacity of eight mega watts which would power 4,500 homes.

Lutterworth Mail

25 June 2008