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Horspath villagers say no to turbine  

Credit:  The Oxford Times, www.oxfordtimes.co.uk 14 January 2011 ~~

More than 100 people packed a public meeting to oppose plans for a 425ft-high wind turbine.

They met at Horspath village hall on Monday to hit out at the £2.5m Partnership for Renewables (PfR) scheme for the south side of Oxford Road, close to the entrance to the village.

Horspath Parish Council has led the fight against the turbine, disputing the efficiency and benefits of the structure.

Councillor Martin Harris said the plan would benefit “only Oxford City Council”, which owns the land.

He said: “It would do very little to reduce the output of CO2, and could well cause significant harm to the local environment and to the village community.

“Only when the planning application for the wind turbine eventually appears from PfR in the spring, will it be known how serious this harm will be.”

About 70 per cent of households in Horspath opposed the plan in a 2008 survey.

The parish council says the plan would earn the city council £30,000 a year in rent.

Ed Murray, chairman of Horspath Cricket Club, said players would be distracted.

He said: “Horspath’s cricket teams play the game competitively at a high level, and need to be able to use their new cricket ground without the distraction of having a giant wind turbine in full view of the batsmen, bowlers and fielders.”

Dr Ian Scargill, chairman of the Oxford Green Belt Network, said the turbine would “tower above the people of Horspath” and the surrounding Green Belt.

Constituency MP John Howell also pledged his support.

In a letter read to the meeting, he said: “Whilst I fully support getting as much electricity from renewable sources as we can, it needs to be recognised that many on-shore sites are simply not acceptable for both locational and operational reasons and that this site is one such unacceptable site.

“I am very concerned about the impact of the proposed turbine on the Green Belt and on the village itself.”

PfR estimates the turbine would produce enough electricity to power 2,400 homes a year and has pledged £5,000 a year to the community.

Plans by PfR for a wind turbine at Cutteslowe Park, Oxford, were shelved in August amid fears it could interfere with RAF radar systems.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Harris added: “It was clear from the discussion at the meeting that there is now solid support for the campaign against the wind turbine, both inside and outside Horspath, as this issue affects a much wider area than the village.”

The city council declined to comment, while PfR failed to comment as the Oxford Mail went to press.

Source:  The Oxford Times, www.oxfordtimes.co.uk 14 January 2011

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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