A counter exhibition was put on by an action group against plans for a rural wind farm in Stubton.
While the developer behind the proposals to build five 126.5m (415ft) turbines at Temple Hill north of Brandon held an information event in Stubton Village Hall on Friday and Saturday, members of reVOLT (rural economies and Voters Oppose Loveden Turbines) set up in gazebos outside to “provide a balance”.
As well as using the exhibition to make their point, reVOLT also hung up banners emblazoned with ‘No turbines at Temple Hill’, flew a blimp at the height the turbines would reach, stuck tape the length of a turbine to the road outside, and put up ‘for sale’ signs outside houses depicting 20 per cent off.
Resident Paul Miley, 48, said developer RWE Npower was not really interested in what local people had to say on the plans.
He said: “This is a box ticking exercise. They have to do this to show they have consulted people. We want to match whatever they come out with which is why we’re holding our own poll.”
Members asked visitors to the exhibition whether they were for or against the wind farm proposal. In addition, they have previously polled villagers in Stubton and in Brandon, with 97 per cent in Stubton voting against and 98 per cent in Brandon voting against.
Mr Miley said the reVOLT group had spoken to up to 300 people over the course of two days, and two main concerns had been highlighted – health and jobs. He said the vibrations given off by the turbines were known to affect sleep patterns and lead to anxiety, while local venues provided jobs that would be at risk were the proposals allowed to go ahead.
One such venue is Stubton Hall, a wedding venue which offers employment to a number of local people. Villagers believe the turbines would put off couples planning to celebrate their marriage at the hall, thereby causing people to lose their jobs.
Meanwhile, a community fund of up to £300,000 is being promised by RWE Npower – but villagers say that this is to run over the course of the lifetime of the turbines, which is 25 years.
RWE Npower said more than 300 people attended the exhibition.
Developer Sarah Lee said: “We were very pleased by the response which gave us the opportunity to share our ideas with local people and give them the chance to ask questions and give us their views.
“Our plans for a development at Temple Hill are still in the early stages and the comments we have received will be really valuable in helping us to shape our plans.”
She said comments would be used to inform the design and layout of the proposed site, adding that further environmental studies will be carried out.
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