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Wind farm objectors enlist aid of winning campaigners  

Credit:  By Alan Thompson, Leicester Mercury, www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk 22 September 2010 ~~

People opposing plans for a wind farm are to enlist the help of campaigners who have won at two public inquiries into similar projects.

Peel Energy wants to build up to ten 410ft turbines on the former Asfordby colliery site, near Melton.

About 50 objectors are planning to set up a campaign group similar to Belvoir Locals Opposing Turbines (Blot).

Blot raised tens of thousands of pounds to be represented at public inquiries into two proposals for wind farms near Bottesford.

Chas Edgington, an acoustic sound specialist who is advising Asfordby Parish Council on noise aspects of the project, said: “We are in the process of setting up an action group and have been talking to Blot.”

Peel Energy, which held two drop-in sessions in the area to answer questions about its plans in the summer, also organised a fact-finding tour to a working wind farm near Scunthorpe at the weekend.

Mr Edgington, who lives in Asfordby Hill, said: “The two drop-in sessions the company held were in the middle of the summer when a lot of people were on holiday.

“A lot of people think it is going to build the turbines on the mine site, but they will be going up in fields where they will be seen for miles around.”

Laura Smith, vice-chairman of Grimston, Saxelbye and Shoby Parish Council, who went on the fact-finding tour, said: “I wanted to see a wind farm up close.

“I’ve got an open mind and wanted to see what it looked like in its setting. It was very informative.

“I’ll reserve judgment until the public exhibition, but we shouldn’t see too much of them from Grimston.

“I’m disappointed more members of the public didn’t go on the trip.”

Blot raised £40,000 to represent people living in the Vale of Belvoir at a planning inquiry this year into an application by Ridgewind to put up eight 328ft turbines in Normanton.

In July, planning inspector Christopher Frost ruled against the company on landscape, heritage and residential amenity grounds. An application by a different company for a ten-turbine wind farm less than a mile away was dismissed on appeal, two years ago on identical grounds.

Jamie Mawer, of Blot, said: “We’ve had contact from parish councils and individuals who want us to go and give a talk on our experience.

“We will be able to talk to them about what we did. We’ve built up a lot of experience.

“It’s as big a black hole for them as it was for us when we started all this three years ago.”

Peel Energy project manager Patrick Keogh said: “We understand that some people will still have questions and concerns with the proposals.

“We are confident that we will be able to respond positively to any issues when we share our proposals with the community at the public exhibition in October.”

Source:  By Alan Thompson, Leicester Mercury, www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk 22 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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