August 17, 2012

Wind turbine plan opposed

Leicester Mercury | 17 August 2012

A farmer has vowed to fight plans to erect a 335ft wind turbine on land he rents.

Nick Jones is opposed to a scheme by green energy firm Prowind UK to site the structure between Carlton Curlieu and Burton Overy, near Market Harborough.

He said: “This scheme will destroy an unspoilt area of Leicestershire.

“I have farmed here for 28 years and I have told my landlords, the Wyggeston Hospital Trust, I will oppose them on this. It will destroy the environment and wildlife. It will also ruin a particularly beautiful view.”

Mr Jones was speaking after giving an impassioned speech at a public meeting in Burton Overy on Wednesday.

About 90 residents from the surrounding area attended the meeting in the village hall to tell Keith Brooks, managing director of Prowind UK, what they thought of the scheme.

Mr Brooks said: “It was a hostile atmosphere but, as a company, we want to be open with people and answer their questions. We believe this is a suitable site and that the country needs to find sources of renewable energy. We are prepared to make a stand on this.

“People did come up with objections to this particular site. People do not want to live near airports, bus stops or main roads, but they have to be built.”

If approved by Harborough District Council’s planning committee, the scheme would be connected to local 11,000 volt power lines.

Burton Overy Parish Council chairman Brian Pollard said: “The overwhelming local view is that this proposal is in the wrong place.

“Many of the questions raised by the audience concerned the visual impact of this modern piece of equipment on an ancient landscape of Leicestershire, which currently has no visible artefacts above ground such as pylons or telegraph poles.

“We hope that the views of people will be respected and the scheme is not allowed.”

Dr Kevin Feltham, county councillor for the area, said: “I am concerned about the challenges that would be faced on the roads in and around picturesque Carlton Curlieu when the rotor blades are transported to the site from Kings Lynn.

“There is also the potential damage to the verges and roadsides when 60 or so huge concrete lorries have to come through to the site within 24 hours for continual poor concreting of the turbine base.”

He said the firm agreed to fly a blimp at the height of the turbine to demonstrate its scale.

Prowind UK is holding a public exhibition on Saturday, between 10am and 7pm in Burton Overy Village Hall when company representatives will be available to answer questions.

People must make their comments on the scheme to the council planning department before August 30.

Mr Brooks said he would welcome people contacting him by e-mail at:

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