MP Alan Duncan has called on the developer behind plans for a windfarm on the former Asfordby mine to fly blimps so people can appreciate the scale of the proposed turbines.
In a letter to Peel Energy’s managing director Stephen Klein, Mr Duncan said he found its refusal to send up balloons on the site ‘unacceptable’.
Mr Duncan entered the fray as Peel staged a two-day exhibition prior to submitting a formal planning application to Melton Council.
The public got its first glimpse of the latest proposals for nine 125m turbines at The Stute, Asfordby Hill, yesterday. The consultation event continues today at Asfordby Parish Hall (9am to 2.30pm) and Ab Kettleby Primary School (3.30pm to 7.30pm).
The exhibition includes the results of noise and environmental studies and photomontages of how the turbines would look from a range of viewpoints.
But in his letter Mr Duncan said: “The contours around Asfordby are variable and impossible to comprehend from the map and photographs.
“The only convincing means of appreciating the visual impact and scale of your proposed turbines is to float a blimp at the highest point of the rotor blade. This may need to be done from a number of points on the ground given the number of turbines planned.
“I understand you have refused point blank to fly balloons in this way which is a decision I find quite unacceptable.
“This is an inexpensive and helpful way to illustrate the scale of the construction you propose and I must therefore please ask that you change your mind and do this in a well-publicised manner in advance of any planning decision by Melton Council.”
Campaign group STOP (Stop Turbines Oppose Peel) has also called on Peel to fly blimps.
Patrick Keogh, project manager for Peel Energy, said: “We are currently considering a request to fly a blimp on the site. However, this practice is not recognised by local planning authorities as an accurate portrayal of how the turbines would look.
“A landscape and visual impact assessment including the photomontages is used for this purpose and this is what Peel Energy is required to provide to Melton Council.”
Peel says if approved its plans could generate enough electricity to meet the average needs of more than 8,500 homes, allowing Leicestershire to make a significant contribution to national renewable energy targets that aim to secure energy supplies and reduce carbon emissions.
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