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Plans for 'monstrous' windfarm thrown out  

Credit:  www.cambridge-news.co.uk 21 June 2011 ~~

Councillors have overwhelmingly thrown out an application for a “monstrous” wind farm – but an appeal from developers looks likely.

Plans for four 130.5-metre-high wind turbines on a site in Woolley Hill, Ellington, were rejected by the development management planning panel of Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) at a meeting on Monday night.

Planning officers at HDC had recommended the application for approval, but following a two-hour debate at Pathfinder House, Huntingdon, an application was dismissed to the delight of hundreds of concerned residents in the public gallery.

However, developer Renewable Energy Systems (RES) has said an appeal against the decision is now expected to be launched.

The proposed site, on land east of Whitleather Lodge, would include two new access areas and a communications mast lasting for a period of 25 years.

Visual harm to the surrounding landscape, particularly the view from the Grade I-listed Ellington Church, road safety on the A14/A1 junction and numerous environmental concerns were given as the main reasons for the objections.

After the result was passed, Ron Ward, chairman of the Woolley Hill Wind Farm Action Group, told the News: “I’m delighted with the decision and it’s an excellent result.

“We can expect an appeal but this is certainly a step in the right direc¬tion. We were misled by the developer who said that 60 per cent of people were in support of the move.”

During the meeting, Cllr Mike Baker, district councillor for Ellington, said: “I urge you to turn this application down, the people in my area do not want this development.”

Cllr Martyn Coleman, parish councillor for Ellington, said: “We all support renewable energy, but this is the wrong development in the wrong area. Can someone please explain to me how four monsters of 130 metres high each can have no unidentified harm on the landscape?”

Reacting to the decision, Jon Knight, RES project manager, said an appeal was “now looking likely”.

Mr Knight said: “We are obviously very disappointed about the decision – we thought it would be a close call tonight.

“The project received a lot of support from members of the community with 600 people putting their names in support of the project when we carried out a survey.

“We still see this as a very worthwhile project and will probably appeal.”

Source:  www.cambridge-news.co.uk 21 June 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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