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Village divided but rejects turbine plan

A parish council chairman used her deciding vote to oppose plans for a single wind turbine around 700m away from Wappenham after members of her committee were divided over the matter.

In rejecting the plans for the 86.5m high turbine at Poplars Farm, Dianne Walsh, chairman of Wappenham Parish Council asked South Northants Council’s development control committee to demand more information on shadow flicker and more precise assesment of the potential noise.

During a public session prior to their discussion parish councillors heard village residents oppose the planning application on the grounds of visual impact, insufficient detail on noise, and their doubts over the economics of onshore wind turbines and the associated subsidies.

Mrs Walsh’s resoluton was passed after a propsal to accept the planning application by her deputy Paul Weatherstone was defeated.

Mr Weatherstone said he accepted there would be a detrimental visual impact on the village, but having worked in the biomass industry he understood the need to take action over CO2 emissions.

He said: “If it is run well it could provide energy for two villages, and the impact is (only) visual. I’m really struggling. As person who lives in the village I’m really in two minds whether the visual impact is enough to reject.

“I have to accept I face away from it, and won’t see it when I look out of my window. But generally speaking I am pro-renewables, and have spent a lot of time in the biomass industry. We are going to have to sort this out and we are going to need wind turbines.”

Councillor Laura King said wind farms are a new kind of farming and asked committee members if they would rather have nuclear waste and incinerators. She added: “Change does happen.”