Visiting a working wind farm has made Kenilworth and Southam MP Jeremy Wright more determined to fight against projects to set up south Warwickshire’s first turbines.
The Conservative politician, in whose constituency there are two plots earmarked for wind farms, came back from a trip to a 12-turbine site in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, even more convinced of his stance on the issue.
He said: “I went underneath the turbines and also to the closest residential area to them and managed to speak to one of the people living there.
It was quite interesting. I am now better able to comment on what’s going to be proposed.”
Mr Wright said his “suspicions” had been confirmed, which were that the biggest issue of concern to people who live near to the schemes outlined in Warwickshire – one near Bishops Itchington and Knightcote and another in Wormleighton near Fenny Compton – is the visual impact.
He said: “Some people are worried about noise, but I didn’t think that was a huge issue at the Hungtingdon site. The lady who I spoke to who lived near it said she was not disturbed by that at all.
“But there is no doubt that the visual impact is very significant. In Knightcote, the impact on what is stunning scenery in Warwickshire would be devastating.”
He added: “I am sceptical that on-shore wind farms are what we should be concentrating on – it would be more sensible to focus on off-shore turbines and objections in those areas are likely to be substantially less.
“I also think it’s important to look at a whole range of other technologies and that we should look at nuclear energy. We will need other solutions than just renewable energy.
“Nuclear power stations are going to have to be built by the private sector and the private sector will have to take the risk.”
In March a government inspector gave permission to energy firm Broadview, which wants to build a five-turbine farm on land near Bishops Itchington and Knightcote, to set up a mast to measure wind speeds, following fierce opposition by campaign group Feldon Residents and Wind Farm Turbines (Frawt). The proposal had been rejected by Stratford District Council.
Two weeks later EDF Energy Renewables put forward its own application to the district council for a mast and scoping report for a farm in nearby Wormeleighton. The proposed project, known as Stoneton Wind Farm, would include up to 13 turbines, and EDF is hoping to have its mast set up this year.
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