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Villagers shocked by wind turbine plans  

Credit:  By Oliver Evans, Banbury Cake, www.banburycake.co.uk 21 September 2011 ~~

Villagers have reacted with shock at plans to build up to eight giant wind turbines near their homes.

Energy firm Regenco could put five to eight machines on farmland north of Hanwell, home to about 260 people, near Banbury.

It said the wind farm – close to the M40 – would make a “significant contribution” to green energy.

It is investigating the site’s suitability but has lodged a planning application with Cherwell District Council to test opinion about the turbines, which could be up to 130 metres high.

Residents raised fears about visual and noise impact, with 70 people attending a public meeting in the village hall on Saturday.

Organiser Nigel Hall, 56, said: “When I asked how many were in favour of it, not one hand went up.”

Mr Hall, a business consultant who lives in Main Street, said: “There is the visual but also the noise aspect. They make a whirring noise 24 hours a day.”

Wind direction meant the M40 was rarely heard in the village he said, despite Regenco’s arguments that the motorway would mask the turbines’ noise.

Hanwell Village Parish Council chairman John Spratt said: “It is common sense that houses can’t be built there, let alone structures the size of Blackpool Tower, times eight.”

He said villagers felt the plan was inappropriate for the site, adding: “It is so disproportionate it is surreal.”

The district council this year approved guidance that wind farms should be built at least 800 metres from homes. Regenco pledged to follow this.

The move came after a four- turbine plan 500 metres from homes between Fritwell and Fewcott was rejected by the council but approved on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate.

Regenco said energy produced by the turbines at Hanwell would be enough to power between 5,500 and 11,000 homes a year, and 130 metres was the tip of blades at their highest.The support column would be about 80 metres high.

A scheme would be put forward in 2013 if the site is deemed suitable and the wind farm would be operating by 2016 at the earliest.

The firm said noise was “usually drowned out” by natural wind within a few hundred metres.

Regenco has also applied to the district council for a mast to measure wind speed, to be on the site for about two years.

A planning application has also been made to Stratford-on-Avon District Council, which covers part of the site, to seek its views.

Regenco has set up a website about the plan at ironstonewindfarm.co.uk Mr Hall and the parish council have organised another public meeting at the village hall at 10am on Saturday, October 8.

The windfarm plans can be seen at the website http://tinyurl.com/6fb4m5s

[redirects to: http://cherweb.cherwell-dc.gov.uk/publicacces
s/tdc/DcApplication/application_detailview.as
px?caseno=LRK61CEM09000&searchtype=WEEKLY]

Source:  By Oliver Evans, Banbury Cake, www.banburycake.co.uk 21 September 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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