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Third wind farm plan provokes ire on Dengie

A third wind farm has been passed for consideration on the Dengie, sparking fears that turbines will soon be rife on the peninsula.

Within the last four months, wind farms at Bradwell and Middlewick near Southminster have been approved by Maldon District Council and by September 29, Turncole Farm’s fate will be decided.

Situated between Southminster and Burnham, Turncole Farm could have seven wind turbines, each 125m high.

Bob Burnham of Southminster Parish Council said: “Not many people in the village are happy about this. I do not think it will be getting our support.”

If Turncole Farm gets the go-ahead, there will be a total of 26 turbines in the Dengie.

Each wind turbine produces just over enough energy per year for 1,000 homes when they are working to their full capacity.

Burnham town councillor Jack Shepherd said: “I am not a great fan of them. It was always a problem that once one was proposed and passed, it would open the flood gates.

“The Dengie is going to be rammed. It’s such a lovely area, it’s just going to be blighted.

“It’s not even going to do the job it’s supposed to do.

“It’s so quiet and peaceful. It will not be soon. It’s such a shame.”

Renewable Energy Systems (RES), which is behind the project, says it will provide a community fund of more than £25,000 a year to support local causes if the wind farms produced 12.6MW of energy.

Project manager Jon Knight said: “The formal acceptance of the planning application marks the beginning of a period of consultation during which local people have further opportunity to comment on our proposals.

“We are in the process of contacting people to let them know in more detail how this stage of the planning process works and how to make their views known.”

Robin Prior of Southminster Against Wind Farms said: “No power station makes a good neighbour.

“I don’t like the word ‘farm’ for these things, they are power stations. Most power stations cannot be in places of high population so have to be in the countryside.

“Once a precedent has been set then why not make the whole thing an industrial estate? And for what? It’s one of the most expensive ways of generating electricity and makes no economic sense.

“The subsidiaries cost a lot of money. Wind is free but so is coal in the ground and oil. It is the way you make energy out of it that costs a lot.

“It’s all about money. It’s nothing to do with saving the environment.”

Paula Whitney from Friends of the Earth said: “We have supported the Middlewick wind farm but each application is different, it depends where you are looking to put them. A lot of aspects have to be considered, you can spend a long time looking at a site to see whether it would be suitable.”

“I think the turbines are quite majestic and enhancing.”