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Wind farm battle re-emerges as energy firm unveils plans

Stormy weather did not deter more than 100 people who attended the latest exhibition detailing plans for a wind farm near Leamington – but “tempestuous” times lie ahead, campaigners say.

Broadview Energy invited people from the villages surrounding the proposed Starbold site, between Bishops Itchington and Knightcote, to a public open day at Knightcote village hall last Thursday.

While gales in Scotland caused a wind turbine to catch fire, the firm outlined its vision nine months after it won an appeal overturning a rejection by Stratford District Council’s planning committee of its application to set up a wind speed-measuring mast at the site.

The company is planning to submit another application for the five-turbine site in the next few weeks and is inviting people to visit one of its working wind farms in Leicestershire in February.

Project manager James Turner-Moore said: “We are now very much focused on drawing the various documents together in order to submit the full wind farm planning application.”

But campaigners who formed an opposition group – Feldon Residents and Wind Farm Turbines (Frawt) – in the early stages of Broadview’s proposals, remain determined to prevent the scheme from going ahead.

Graham Margetson said: “Where they are proposing to build the turbines is quite risky. Some of them will be 150m from the road and they are 120m high.

“If one fell over – which from the Sunday papers we can see does happen – it would crush anyone passing along Knightcote Bottom Lane. It has got to be seriously bad news.

“We think it’s disastrous for south Warwickshire. All the communities surrounding the site are angry and completely opposed to it.

“It’s going to be a very tempestuous story over the next few months.”

If approved, Broadview says the turbines could be up and running within 12 months of gaining approval and provide enough renewable energy to meet the needs of 4,788 homes in the area each year.