At the beginning of March the public were invited to a consultation on the proposed wind farm near the Woolfox Depot.
The developers doubtless hoped that we would go away from it clutching their anodyne hand-out and thinking that the countryside wasn’t really threatened.
However there was another document which was kept out of sight and only given to those that asked for it, namely the “Scopings” document. If you opened this you would find the grim truth of what was involved.
Besides up to 22 wind turbines higher than St Paul’s Cathedral there would be 10m wide spine roads; 7m wide access tracks with drainage; a site-control building up to 400sqm within a 5,000m compound; crane hardstanding areas each about 1,500sqm; a permanent wind-measuring mast; and grid connection from the site to Empingham or Oakham, with no guarantee that this would not be on overhead pylons.
The total site area under consideration would be no less than 415 hectares (although not all subject to permanent land take).
Don’t be fooled by the developers’ apparently impressive statistic that the wind farm’s total capacity would be up to 49 MW.
Total capacity would only be reached if the wind farm was generating electricity for every hour of the year that God gives.
But the wind only blows intermittently, so the output that would be achieved is only a fraction of that capacity. Moreover it would require back-up from other sources of power when the wind was not blowing.
The contribution of a wind farm like this to national energy requirements is relatively minute and quite uneconomic but the developers’ risks are safely covered by a generous government subsidy.
This token trickle of green electricity certainly doesn’t justify defacing a fine stretch of countryside.
In the 1970s Rutland, the smallest county in England, gave up 3,000 acres of its countryside to create Rutland Water.
Now the smallest county is again being asked to give up a substantial chunk of its countryside, this time for one of the biggest on-shore wind farms in England.
Is Rutland County Council going to stand by and allow the county to be clobbered once again?
Chairman CPRE Rutland