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Balloon to fly over wind site  

Credit:  By Alan Thompson, Leicester Mercury, www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk 24 February 2011 ~~

A blimp will be flown over a planned wind farm site so nearby residents can get an idea of how tall the turbines would be.

Peel Energy wants to build nine turbines on the former Asfordby mine site, near Melton.

The company has announced it will fly a blimp over the site on Friday and Saturday next week, after a request by Rutland and Melton MP Alan Duncan.

The red and white blimp will be flown at a height of 125m (410ft) to indicate the tip of the tallest turbine blade, with a tetherline at 80m (262ft) indicating the hub height.

Members of Melton Borough Council and local parish councils have been invited to attend the demonstration.

Patrick Keogh, of Peel Energy, said: “The blimp demonstration is a gesture of goodwill and while we do not believe much can be taken from the exercise, we are trying to accommodate a small number of people who have said the exercise could help allay their concerns.

“We strongly recommend, however, the best way to get an appreciation of the scale of the turbines, the noise levels when operational, how public access through and around the site is managed, and how they sit within the landscape, is to visit one of the many operational wind farms across the country.”

Mr Duncan wrote to the company in October to ask it to fly a blimp.

Peel Energy originally said it was considering the request, but added the practice was not recognised by local planning authorities as an accurate portrayal of how the turbines would look.

Campaigners are happy the company has now agreed to fly the blimp.

Emma Musson, of campaign group STOP, said: “We are pleased Peel Energy has heeded requests by residents, parish councils and MP Alan Duncan to agree to fly the balloon.

“Many people living in Melton and its surrounding villages are under the impression they will not see the turbines, but other communities around the country have found that flying a blimp proves the opposite.

“STOP urges everyone from Melton and the surrounding villages to look out for the blimp when it is flown.”

Mr Duncan added: “I am glad Peel Energy has decided to fly a blimp to demonstrate the real visual impact of their proposed turbines. This is the only way to gauge the scale of what they are planning.”

Source:  By Alan Thompson, Leicester Mercury, www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk 24 February 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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