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Fight to stop wind farms continues

A village is preparing to fight plans for a wind farm after the proposed developer released a new report to support its case.

Developer E.ON by-passed Daventry District Council (DDC) last year with its application for seven wind turbines near Winwick, arguing that the authority took too long to draw up a report on the case.

It instead went straight to the Planning Inspectorate which accepted the application and has set the date of March 20 for the start of the appeal.

In November last year the council voted against the plans, following the publishing of a ‘minded to’ report, which confirmed how the committee would have dealt with the proposal should it have been able to.

This week E.ON has issued a further supplementary environmental report to support its case for the plans.

It looks at the impact of deliveries to the site on the local area, which identifies routes through Guilsborough and Watford as suitable, adding that traffic delays would be ‘negligible’.

Residents in the village have joined together to form anti-wind farm group Protect Winwick to fight the energy company.

Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris has also helped form a new parliamentary pressure group to fight on-shore wind farm developments.

That comes after permission was given for turbines to be built in Watford, Naseby, Boddington and Yelvertoft.

Three of those applications were originally rejected by DDC’s planning committee but overturned on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate.

Mr Heaton-Harris said: “Ministers need to look at this policy again. “It is an inefficient technology, it adds to the bills of consumers, it harms the balance of the National Grid, it is the wrong renewable for the UK.

“We need a change of policy.”

Sir Paul Hayter, of the Northamptonshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), added that the Government is not listening to the views of local authorities when it comes to wind farm developments.

He said: “When the least windy part of England (Northamptonshire) is carpeted with wind farms, it is a clear sign that the subsidies are excessive.

“It is also a sign that, despite the much-vaunted Localism Act, we have a planning regime in which national targets take precedence over local decisions.”