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Windfall from a wind farm

Villagers who say their lives may be disrupted by a wind farm could be given a £2,000 ‘sweetener’ for their community.

Ecotricity, the green electricity company planning to build 15 wind turbines at Stoke Heights, has announced its community fund.

Worth £12,000 a year in total, it will equate to £2,000 each for the villages affected by the scheme, which is next to the M1 in the north of Milton Keynes.

Ecotricity has this week submitted its formal proposals following a year of site studies, environmental research and public consultation.

Now Milton Keynes Council has six weeks to consider the application.

Ecotricity says the turbines will generate enough electricity for the equivalent usage of more than 25,000 homes.

This will save 36,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere every year.

Said the company’s spokesman Mike Cheshire: “This wind park will make a vital contribution to the provision of clean energy in Buckinghamshire and that’s something I think everyone should feel proud of.”

But residents have mixed feelings about the proposed project.

They are worried about noise, health implications and ‘shadow flicker’ generated by the giant turbines.

They are also concerned about wildlife as the area has red kites, buzzards, bats, deer, swans and great crested newts.

Ecotricity has organised public meetings and exhibitions for residents who will be affected in Stoke Goldington, Hanslope and even Stoke Hammond

Hundreds of people have attended to see computer generated photographs of how the turbines would look from various local areas.

The company has a fleet of 52 windmills, which power the equivalent of 50,000 homes.