Opponents of plans to install wind turbines at Lambourn’s Sheepdrove Organic Farm are mobilising, while the applicants wrestle over technicalities.
The initial plans for the Sheepdrove Wind Energy Project were reported in the Newbury Weekly News in December last year and have involved several years of consultation with the local community, independent experts and statutory bodies.
The proposals involve one farmhouse turbine which would be 17.75m in height at the rotor tip and one main turbine of 39.5m at the tip.
However last week the NWN reported how the plans had hit an early stumbling block as the agents dealing with the application on behalf of the farm, DPDS Consulting, were told that incorrect documdents were suibmitted.
As a result, West Berkshire Council has not yet validated the application because officers deemed that the ownership certificates submitted it were incorrect.
Meanwhile the Friends Of Lambourn Downs (FOLD) are mustering opposition to the entire concept.
Farm owner Peter Kindersley said that, in the context of years of planning, the delay was no problem and added: “A lot of people have realised that there are issues with sustainable energy supply and they have come round to our point of view.
Ms Rowlinson professed “astonishment” at any intimation that opposition to wind turbines in tghe area had softened and said: “Nothing could be further from the truth . Not only would these turbines – one of which is nearly 40 metres high, the equivalent of 10 double decker buses – have an enormous impact on this precious Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) but there seems to be an increasing amount of evidence about how inefficient these wind turbines actually are.
“Mr Kindersley asserted that protesters have come round to his point of view. Again, FOLD stongly refutes this. There has been no approach by Mr Kindersley to seek our point of view, or any consultation whatsoever.”
She added: “FOLD has always been totally opposed to the siting of wind turbines on the Lambourn Downs, and will continue to protect and preserve this unique and unspoilt downland landscape for the use of the general public, the local equine community ,now and for future generations.”
Planning advisor to North Wessex Downs AONB, Andrew Lord, said: “We have yet to comment formally but will do so when a planning application is forthcoming, which we expect to be supported by a full landscape and visual impact assessment.
“In forming any decision we will refer to our Approved Study of Landscape Sensitivities and Constraints to Wind Turbine Development 2006. This report highlighted that substantial areas of the AONB are highly constrained in respect of potential landscape impact from wind turbine development and Sheepdrove Farm is located in a landscape area that is particularly sensitive to this form of development.”
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