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Families renew their wind farm opposition  

Credit:  By Roger Houldcroft, Uttoxeter Post & Times, www.thisisuttoxeter.co.uk 20 September 2010 ~~

Campaigners are stepping up their fight to stop an energy company building a £30 million wind farm in open countryside.

Villagers have pledged their opposition to plans by SSE Renewables to put up eight 110-metre turbines at Bagot’s Park near Abbots Bromley.

The objectors fear the project – which could be up and running within three years providing permission is granted by East Staffordshire Borough Council – will damage the environment.

They fear watercourses could be affected, health issues relating to noise, visual impact and disruption of TV viewing.

SSE Renewables, which held drop-in sessions at Marchington Woodlands and Abbots Bromley Village Halls on Tuesday and Wednesday, have attempted to allay the concerns.

Pat and John Evans, of Parkside Farm, are one of the closest to the proposed development site.

John said: “This project would mean irreparable damage to the environment and to the quality of residents’ lives.

“The local planning authority cannot permit the application site and the surrounding countryside to be harmed in such a way.”

Martin Horan, a former Rolls Royce employee, lives around 700 metres away and his £600,000 home overlooks the proposed site.

The 59-year-old – who fears his home on Hobb Lane, Marchington, could lose £100,000 in value – said: “These things will destroy the landscape. The wind turbines are massive.The noise and the flickering of the blades of the turbines will be a real nuisance.”

Jan Edwards, of Abbots Bromley, said: “I don’t think it’s a good idea. I can’t see that it would be viable..”

ESBC – which has already approved two wind testing masts at the site – had requested further information which the Reading-based company has now provided.

The authority is expected to consider the proposal before the end of the year.

Diagrams have been drawn up to show how the development will look.

The plans have sparked protests from residents who fought off a similar scheme by renewable energy firm ABEnergy four years ago.

Roger Jarman, chairman of Abbots Bromley Parish Council, said: “There are concerns. We will be making representations as a council.”

He said families in the immediate area were concerned about a number of issues including the visual impact and background noise.

Councillor Robert Hardwick, who represents the Marchington and Marchington Woodlands area on ESBC, said conflicting figures had been given for the amount of energy that could be produced.

He added: “Many people believe the planning system has been softened up by the Government over the years to make it easier to get wind farm planning applications passed.”

SSE Renewables claims the park could supply power to 10,000 homes – a quarter of East Staffordshire households.

It states that the wind farm could generate £3 million for the local economy and 25 jobs during the construction process.

Ross Easton, from SSE Renewables, said: “We have had mixed views at the drop-in sessions. We have had people for the wind farm and we have had people against.”

He dismissed claims of noise nuisance and devaluation of property prices as “myths”.

A spokesman added: “The eight turbines being proposed will not have an effect on the micro climate.

“Current scientific opinion believes that only where there is a large number of wind turbines placed close together will there be an effect on the micro climate.

“This will not be the case for Bagot’s Park.”

Source:  By Roger Houldcroft, Uttoxeter Post & Times, www.thisisuttoxeter.co.uk 20 September 2010

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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