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Stormy fight over plan for another wind farm 

Credit:  Lincolnshire Echo, www.thisislincolnshire.co.uk 26 January 2011 ~~

A high profile campaign has been launched to try to scupper plans for a wind farm in Wainfleet St Mary.

More than 200 residents packed into Friskney village hall on Saturday to hear a panel of speakers slam RWE Npower Renewables’ controversial proposal to build four 127-metre turbines on farmland off Fen Bank.

At the end of the 90-minute meeting, chairman Councillor John Upsall asked if anyone supported the project, but not a single hand went up.

Among those who voiced opposition was resident Carole Fox, who said she had moved to the Lincolnshire Fens because she though the scenery was an improvement on that at her previous home near Bakewell.

Richard Gwynne Evans expressed fears that scores of birds would be killed if they flew into the blades.

He said: “I’ve been looking at the RSPB’s website. This area is noted for its wealth of wildfowl, including swans, and birds of prey such as several species of owl.”

Opponents were buoyed by the support expressed by Boston and Skegness MP Mark Simmonds, who said there needed to be more research on alternative, and less visually intrusive, forms of renewable energy, such as solar and anaerobic digestion.

He said: “In Brazil, 20 per cent of their energy is hydro-electric. Admittedly, we don’t have the Amazon river but, with further research coupled with determination, these things are possible.”

The MP called on residents to write to him at the Commons, emphasising the strength of their views.

He said: “A Government minister soon gets the message if there are 500 letters in his Red Box from a single location.”

Objections were also sounded by Councillor Neil Cooper, who warned that, if approved, the project was likely to become “a stalking horse” for a raft of similar applications in fen land Lincolnshire.

Because of his recent experience in seeing off a similar wind farm application at Baumber, the newly-formed Wainfleet Wind Turbine Action Group has enlisted Melvyn Grosvenor as its vice-chairman.

Mr Grosvenor said: “Because of its wartime air bases, Lincolnshire has often been dubbed Bomber County. Unless we halt these onshore wind farms, it risks being renamed Turbine County.”

The campaign group’s chairman is Diane Wrisdale and its secretary and treasurer is Tim Underhill.

It is thought no one from RWE attended the meeting.

Developer at RWE, Charlotte Healey said: “Our detailed studies and assessments show us that the site near Wainfleet is a good location to harness wind energy. The four turbines would produce enough renewable energy to power thousands of homes each year.

“Unfortunately, RWE were not informed of the meeting on Saturday, January 22. We are very happy to hear the community’s views and help clear up some of the myths that often emerge about wind farms.”

RWE also stated that no application for a wind farm has yet been registered with ELDC.

Resident with questions or comments about the proposal should e-mail wainfleet@npower-renew ables.com or call 01582 641910.

Source:  Lincolnshire Echo, www.thisislincolnshire.co.uk 26 January 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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