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Technical problems delay wind farm application

Residents in Hemingford Grey are claiming a cautious victory after receiving indications that Huntingdonshire District Council is to reject plans for a wind turbine.

Assistant development management officer at HDC, Gavin Sylvester, wrote to Amber Real Estate Investments on November 30 to say officers “are minded to refuse” a planning application for a single 77-metre (253-foot) wind turbine at Galley Hill – a site just off the A14 by the eastbound junction for St Ives.

The technical reasons outlined by HDC include the results of a report by the Ministry of Defence, which said the proposed turbine would cause “unacceptable interference” to the air traffic control radar at Cambridge Airfield.

Councillors were also concerned Amber Investments had not demonstrated that the noise output from the turbine would not cause harm to residents – particularly those on Marsh Lane and The Bungalow at Woolpack Farm.

Other areas of concern included the adverse visual impact the proposed turbine and the impact on heritage sites including conservation areas, and specifically the Grade II-listed Manor House in the village, which would be in a direct line of sight of the proposed turbine.

Given the amount of extra survey work required as a result of the objections, HDC has advised that it will refuse permission for the plans unless they are withdrawn by Friday. Withdrawal would allow the developers another nine months to revise the application.

The council also said that the RSPB objected to the proposal because “the assessment of the risks posed by the turbine to nature conservation is considered to be inadequate,” while the Highways Agency said the turbine’s location – close to the A14 – would be an “unacceptable safety risk” in the event of ice shedding or structural failure.

Campaigner Esther Harrod told The Hunt Post: “This certainly looks promising. It seems some of the technical issues on which the application could be refused are insurmountable, but it depends on what the company comes back with, and whether or not they can address those issues.”

As previously reported by The Hunts Post, Amber Real Estate Investments (AREI) already has permission to build an intensive poultry farm on the site and has applied to install 18 tanks capable of holding 37 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas.