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Ancient stream may get in the way of plans for wind turbines

A council is objecting to wind turbine plans because they may damage the remains of an ancient stream.

Notts County Council said installing three 126m wind turbines on Grove Farm Sports Field on the banks of the River Trent, could affect a potentially important archeological site as well as wildlife.

Officers think there may be a palaeochannel under the site, according to a report by Councillor Richard Butler, portfolio holder for environment and sustainability.

A palaeochannel is a deposit of sediments or rocks which can be evidence of an ancient stream, and is useful for research to understand geological faults and climate conditions.

In the report, Mr Butler says: “There remains considerable work to be undertaken before an informed opinion as to the archaeological value of the proposed development site.

“Until the work is completed satisfactorily, both of the above planning applications cannot be supported at this time.”

Concerns were also raised about the possible impact on birds and bats at the site.

Peter Rosenthal, who has campaigned against the two turbines proposed in Clifton, welcomed the council’s concerns.

“We do need to protect the environment by using things like wind turbines, but it makes no sense damaging the environment in setting them up.”

The development site straddles Clifton and Beeston, and the plans have been submitted by the University of Nottingham.

A University of Nottingham spokesperson said: “We note and welcome the fact that Notts County Council supports the Grove Farm renewable energy scheme in principle.

“Additional works have and continue to be carried out to in respect to the site ecology, notably in respect to birds and bats to address the concerns of the Wildlife Trust and Natural England. These studies continue through November and the RSPB have been consulted on survey methods. The results will subsequently be presented.

“We have carried out a geophysical survey of the proposed scheme in full consultation with the County Archaeologist. The results of this work will be available shortly and will be used to micro-site the turbines, the site set-up and access works and if required so mitigation measures can be developed.”

The £10 million project could produce a third of the university’s electricity every year. The scheme is planned to run for 25 years.

Broxtowe Borough Council, which decides on one of the applications, and Nottingham City Council which will reject or approve the other two, requested observations from the county council.

The report will be discussed by Notts County Council’s cabinet tomorrow at County Hall in West Bridgford.