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Sellindge residents fight wind farm plans  

Credit:  Chrissie Daniels | www.yourashford.co.uk 28 June 2012 ~~

Six wind turbines each the size of the London Eye are planned for a village set in the rolling Kent countryside.

Angry residents are determined to fight plans to build turbines, after energy giant Ecotricity submitted an application to Shepway District Council to build six 125 metre windmills at Harringe Brooks near Sellindge.

But villagers fear the wind farm will lead to a drop in house prices, create noise, and ruin the views of the countryside.

This weekend is the council’s deadline for comments on the proposals, before town hall officials assess the application.

A council spokesman said on Wednesday that 143 representations had been received so far – 133 objections, one in support, and nine general comments.

Neighbours have set up an action group, Salvation, (Sellindge, Aldington, Lympne Villagers Against Turbines In Our Neighbourhood), which is operating as part of the Sellindge Residents’ Association.

Tony Bosley from the group said: “We are reserving the right to provide evidence beyond June 30. Ecotricty had two years to provide information and we have only had five weeks.”

He said the turbines will be 900m from his home in Courthouse Street, but for some they will be as near as 500m from the end of their gardens.

Mr Bosley said: “We have moved here for the long term. We have no choice but to fight it. Why should we move? Our friends live here. We are backed against the wall and have nowhere to go.”

Each turbine would be 125 metres high, just 10m smaller than the London Eye.

The council’s website shows the objections to the plans. Mr J Mann said: “I object to this application for monstrous wind turbines in a beautiful part of rural Kent. The effect on the local population will be profound.”

Mrs S Maybourne said: “It will ruin the village. So many of us will be able to see these things towering over us. We don’t want or need them. Keep them out at sea or give us solar panels.”

Ecotricty say the wind farm would generate enough green energy each year to power the equivalent of 11,800 homes.

Spokesman Nick Osbourne said: “It’s taken over two years of detailed site assessments and environmental studies to get to this stage. The environmental benefits of the proposed wind park are significant, but the local area will also receive substantial investment.

“If the plans were to be approved, Ecotricity would allocate a fund of £15,000 every year which local people can apply for, a total of £375,000 over the 25-year lifespan of the site.

“We have received comments of both support and objection from local residents. There is often a fear of the unknown with any new development, and misinformation from certain groups can sometimes spread undue concern.

“There is no evidence, for instance, that the proximity of wind turbines has any impact on long term house prices. As far as noise goes, we would encourage anyone to visit a turbine for themselves – people are often surprised by how quiet they are.

“However, if residents do still have questions, even at this stage, we do urge them to get in touch with us directly.”

A spokesman for the council said it is too early to commit to a timescale on making a decision on plans.

Source:  Chrissie Daniels | www.yourashford.co.uk 28 June 2012

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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