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Balloon protest over wind farm  

Credit:  Alice Hutton, Royston Evening news, www.cambridge-news.co.uk 2 March 2011 ~~

Campaigners took a 126-metre-high balloon for a walk to oppose a wind farm in a rural beauty spot.

More than 50 members of Stop Heydon Wind Farm Action Group flew the balloon at the exact height the proposed turbines would reach, to persuade nearby residents of their potential impact and the level of opposition to the plans.

Although a planning application has not yet been submitted, the scheme, by German developer Volkswind, includes between eight and 11 turbines on Heydon Grange at twice the height of Ely Cathedral’s tower and 25 per cent taller than the radio mast at RAF Barkway.

Jason Cross, chairman of the Stop Heydon Wind Farm Action Group, said: “We wanted to show the local community how much of an impact these turbines will really have on the surrounding countryside.

“Many people on the walk were really shocked by the height of the balloon and I think it has really helped communicate to people the true impact the proposals could have.

“The turbines that Volkswind are proposing are some of the largest in the country and they will have a devastating effect on this area.”

MP Andrew Lansley, who represents South Cambridgeshire, has come out against the plans and branded it “environmental vandalism” which will interfere with the air space used by the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

A spokeswoman for the museum said: “We are aware of the proposal to build a new wind farm on the outskirts of Heydon.

“As currently proposed, the wind farm would have a material impact on all aircraft displaying at Duxford air shows, but most specifically fast jet display teams which require a six-mile airspace restriction around IWM Duxford.

“The museum is currently assessing proposed plans in order to ascertain any further impact on airfield operations.”

Peter Jones, a spokesman for the action group, added: “Local residents believe that the wind power plant proposal is not eco-conscious, but simply a project to make huge amounts of money from the subsidies available.”

A spokesman from Volkswind estimated the farm could generate enough electricity to power 10,000 homes over the next 25 years. He said modern turbines were “remarkably quiet” and pledged to carry out noise assessments.

For more information and to donate to the group visit www.stopheydonwindfarm.com

Source:  Alice Hutton, Royston Evening news, www.cambridge-news.co.uk 2 March 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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