A blast of disapproval has greeted plans for a new wind farm on Romney Marsh.
Ecotricity, a company which specialises in sustainable energy, has unveiled its plans for a new wind farm in Snave – but critics were united in claiming it would be another blot on the flat Marsh landscape.
If the plan is approved, six 90-metre high turbines will be built on farmland just outside the ancient village.
Beatrice Paine of John Paine Farms, which farms 3,000 acres on the Marsh, said: “It is a prime farming area of considerable rural beauty with its formerly unspoilt wide horizons, vast skyscapes and mini villages. It would seem obvious that wind turbines and solar farms are out of place here and not only an abuse of the Marsh character but also of some of the highest-grade crop-producing land in the country.
“Wind farms, which are only partially efficient, destroy any landscape and those already erected at Cheyne Court are greatly regretted by the people of the Marsh and of Rye.”
Ecotricity plans to put in a planning application in the summer and claims Snave has been identified as an ideal site for the farm, which it says will provide green electricity to power the equivalent of almost 10,000 homes a year.
“We have been building renewable projects for 18 years and always ensure that, with any of our projects, we secure maximum environmental benefits with minimum environmental impact,” said a spokesman.
But residents warned that Romney Marsh was being turned into a “dumping ground for wind and solar farms”.
The area already has the £60 million Little Cheyne Court wind farm near Lydd, with 26 115-metre-high turbines, and permission was recently granted for a solar array on agricultural land at Old Romney.
Shepway district councillor Clive Goddard warned at the time that planning permission would trigger a wave of similar applications.
“Sadly it seems this is already coming true and now we have plans for yet another wind farm on the beautiful Romney Marsh,” he said.
“Our duty is to protect our heritage and countryside for generations to come because we are only temporary custodians. It is not for us to give over tracts of valuable agricultural land to schemes such as this.”
He was supported by New Romney mayor Roger Joynes, who said: ” The proliferation of wind farms on Romney Marsh is something we have to be very careful about. I don’t want the Marsh to become a dumping ground for these schemes.
Unfortunately it is outside our powers and we are left as interested bystanders while Shepway District Council will take the final decision. I hope they think very carefully before saying ‘yes’.”
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