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Bid for third wind farm turned down  

Credit:  Maldon Chronicle, www.thisistotalessex.co.uk 27 October 2011 ~~

Residents of Burnham and Southminster are celebrating after Maldon District Council refused plans for a third wind farm on the Dengie at a meeting on Monday.

Wind farms have already been approved in Bradwell-on-Sea and Middlewick.

Maldon district councillors and hundreds of campaigners believe the cumulative effect of three wind farms in the Dengie would leave the Maldon district with a vulgar landscape, traffic problems and a scarred environment.

But the company planning the third wind farm will appeal the decision, giving planning inspectors the final say.

An area already coping with a wind farm is Romney Marshes in Kent, home to the south east’s largest on-shore wind farm, with 26 turbines.

The giant structures stand 116m tall, with blades weighing 140 tonnes, making the farm visible from villages up to 25 miles away.

Richard Brisley, a retired plumber from Old Romney, said: “My back garden looks out onto the wind farm and at first I did not think I wanted them. However, since they have been built I have realised that they are not doing any harm.

“You get used to them but I do worry about how efficient they are.”

When N Power Renewables initially proposed the Romney wind farm, it received a lot of opposition from local environmental groups, residents groups and the nearby Lydd Airport.

Steve Humphreys, Romney Marsh visitor centre’s site manager said: “A lot of people now think that it’s not as bad as they thought and I now like it.”

Owen Leyshon, from the Romney Marsh Day Centre, said: “There was a public inquiry and a lot of opposition from local councils, Natural England, the RSPB and residents.

“Our concern was regarding large birds getting caught up in the turbines. The company did offer to pay farmers to plant crops in places that would ensure the birds have a clear flight path. And it seems to have worked; there have not been many fatalities.”

The company also created a community fund which has been providing the locals with incentives, such as money for local schools and grants between £500 and £5,000 for environmental and charitable activities.

Joanna Atkinson, from Brooklands, said: “I would rather have the wind farm than another nuclear power station. I have never heard the turbines and I really don’t think they look that bad now they are here.”

The Romney landscape is similar to the Dengie, but main roads were established before the wind farm and materials mainly travelled down major by-passes, not affecting local traffic.

Frank Thomas, from Rye, said: “Everyone has got used to it. You can’t hear anything and we are pretty close.”

Source:  Maldon Chronicle, www.thisistotalessex.co.uk 27 October 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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