December 16, 2010

Wind farm details infuriate villagers

Chris Havergal, Cambridge News, 16 December 2010

Villagers have been shocked by proposals for a wind farm in a rural beauty spot.

Proposals to erect turbines at Heydon Grange, near Fowlmere, were first mooted earlier this year and homeowners living nearby have now heard directly from developer Volkswind for the first time.

A leaflet distributed to residents said the firm proposed to erect eight turbines, each of which would stand at up to 415ft high.

The Stop Heydon Wind Farm Action Group said this was 25 per cent taller than the radio mast at nearby RAF Barkway – and twice the height of Ely Cathedral’s tower.

Alex Duffus, chairman of the action group, said: “This is the first communication we have received directly from Volkswind about the proposals and I was deeply shocked by what I saw.

“The plans they show in their newsletter detail proposals that would see the countryside ruined by massive industrial wind turbines that are completely out of keeping with the surroundings.

“The proposals also show an ancient track and bridleway being used as an access road for massive lorries and, as the proposals stand, the turbines may be built in an area that could see our local wildlife destroyed.”

The group wants the leaflet distributed to villages further afield which would be affected, and believes there is uncertainty about the number of turbines, since a report submitted to South Cambridgeshire District Council said there would be 11, not eight.

A Volkswind spokeswoman confirmed there would be fewer than 10 turbines.

She said: “If constructed it would make a considerable contribution towards the UK’s energy demands and renewable obligation targets.

“As such we are currently investigating the possibility of building a medium sized wind farm, less than 10, at land to the south of the Heydon Grange Golf & Country Club.

“It is our intention to continue our consultation programme with local residents and keep members of the general public informed of our progress towards a planning application via our website, www.heydongrangewindfarm.”A public exhibition about the project is expected in the new year and, later, a planning application will be submitted to the council.

Following an earlier visit to the site, just 220 yards from the village of Heydon, the area’s MP, Andrew Lansley, said he opposed the project.

He said: “There are many compelling reasons why it’s a wholly inappropriate site and to build 400ft turbines there would be environmental vandalism.”

But in the leaflet, Volkswind estimated the farm could generate enough electricity to power 10,000 homes over the next 25 years. It said modern turbines were “remarkably quiet” and it pledged to carry out noise assessments.

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