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Storm brewing over wind farm plans near Salcey Forest  

Credit:  By John Harrison, Northampton Chronicle & Echo, www.northamptonchron.co.uk 26 July 2011 ~~

Residents have vowed to continue to fight plans to construct 15 giant wind turbines – each almost as tall as the Lift Tower – next to a Northamptonshire beauty spot.

Electricity firm, Ecotricity, has formally applied for permission to build the wind farm next to Salcey Forest.

The proposal, submitted to Milton Keynes Council, is to build the wind farm on land at Stoke Lodge Farm, in Purse Lane, Stoke Goldington.

The plans were circulated to local residents and councillors earlier this month, prompting concerns about the impact the turbines would have on the beauty spot. The application came as developers also looked into the possibility of building a wind farm on land between Roade and Hartwell.

A spokesman for the Save Our Salcey group opposing the plans, said: “There will be 15 turbines which are 400 foot high from the floor to the tip of the blade. Two of the turbines, I believe, are within a few hundreds metres of the forest so anyone using the forest itself will be impacted by them.

“The area is covered in nationally recognised footpaths and bridal paths and then there is also the impact it will have on wildlife. You can put up with a lot of things if you think it is the right thing to do but a lot of people doubt how effective turbines are in dealing with global warming and CO2 in the grand scale of things.”

Councillor Michael Clarke (Con, Hackleton) said he had not seen detailed plans for either of the wind farms, but admitted he had concerns about the impact the development would have on Salcey Forest.

He said: “Salcey Forest is the jewel in the crown of South Northamptonshire’s environment and is somewhere we would not wish to have disturbed in any way.”

The developers say the Stoke Heights Wind Park would provide enough energy for an estimated 25,386 homes in Milton Keynes.

However, Andrea Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire, said she did not believe Northamptonshire was the best place for wind farms. She said: “I think Northamptonshire is one of the least windy places in the country.

“I question whether a county such as Northamptonshire should be having turbines, which are costing the taxpayer a fortune to subsidise. So all in all, I am not in favour of them.”

A public meeting about the application will be held at 8pm in Stoke Goldington village hall on Thursday.

Source:  By John Harrison, Northampton Chronicle & Echo, www.northamptonchron.co.uk 26 July 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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