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Plans for wind farm next to heritage site

Plans to build a wind farm near the city’s famous Flag Fen Bronze Age site have gone on show for the first time.

Energy firm TCI Renewables Limited is seeking the public’s views on their plans to install a wind farm on land owned by Anglian Water, close to Flag Fen, in Northey Road.

The proposals, unveiled at a public exhibition at Flag Fen visitor centre on Thursday, could see three turbines, with a maximum height of 150m, built on the land to power Anglian Water’s sewage treatment works.

Bruce Hutt, director of TCI, said the application replaces a previous one – for four wind turbines – which failed to receive support in 2008.

However, after working with Natural England and Ministry of Defence, who objected to the previous plans, they are now ready to re-submit the plans.

Mr Hutt said: “The event was about giving the public the chance to see what the plans are all about and to comment.”

He said a planning application is due to be submitted to Peterborough City Council next year.

Sophie Tucker, project development manager at TCI, said a total of 21 people attended the exhibition, including the deputy leader of the city council, Councillor Matthew Lee.

The wind farm is one of the key projects the city council wants to see succeed, as part of its bid to make Peterborough “Home of the Environment Capital”.

Mrs Tucker said: “We know that consultation with the local community is a key component of any development like this and that’s why we held the public exhibition.

“People from the two properties in Northey Road were concerned about the plans.

“There was a general feeling of positivity. We’ll take all feedback on board.”

If approved, the turbines could generate enough electricity to power the Anglian Water sewage treatment works, which consume an average of 14 GWh of electricity each year.

If that electricity was not being fed to the treatment works, it could provide enough electricity for around 4,700 homes – seven per cent of the whole of Peterborough’s housing.

The exhibition was also attended by Flag Fen trustee Nyree Ambarchian.

She said: “TCI have been speaking a lot to us from the start, so it wasn’t the first time we have seen the plans.

“The turbines are closer to us than in the previous application, even though there’s only three now.

“We’re positive about renewable energy and we would want to work carefully with them, but the plans needs to be sympathetic to the Flag Fen site.”

Ciaran Nelson, a spokesperson for Anglian Water, added: “Keeping treatment works like Flag Fen running is as crucial as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“So, we need innovation like this to get them ready for a low-carbon future. We want our business to become less reliant on fossil fuels.”

Find out more about the plans at www.flagfenwindfarm.com.