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Bid for controversial wind farm renewed

Campaigners have vowed to fight another bid to build Bicton wind farm.

Broadview Energy has applied for permission to place three wind turbines on agricultural land between Kimbolton and Stow Longa.

The bid comes a year after a government planning inspector turned down their application to build four turbines at the same site.

Broadview said they have relocated the 125m turbines further north and reduced their number in response to the inspector’s comments and believe their revised proposals are in line with planning policy.

Stop Bicton Wind Farm, established in 2009 to fight the original application for the site, said the re-submission was “very disappointing” but they believe Broadview’s case has not grown any stronger.

Amy Howard, a spokeswoman for the action group, said: “We have been through this once before, it’s outrageous we have to do it again but fight it we will.”

To satisfy the planners, she said, Broadview would have to show the benefits of the proposals outweighed any harm they would cause, but by reducing the number of wind turbines to three they have cut the benefit of the scheme by a quarter.

She said: “The benefit will be 25 per cent less than the original scheme but the harm of even one turbine above a valley is very significant.”

She said opposition did not stem from nimbyism and said 80 per cent of people questioned following a display of Broadview’s plans last month were in favour of the adjacent solar park.

Broadview Energy said the proposed farm could generate enough clean electricity to meet the average annual requirements of as many as 5,260 households.

Tom Cosgrove, project manager for the proposed Bicton wind farm, said: “We believe that the reduction in size of the project and the relocation of key infrastructure has addressed the planning inspector’s concerns, resulting in a proposal that is compliant with both local and national planning policy.

“The Bicton site is an excellent location for the proposed wind farm which is capable of making a valuable contribution towards reducing both carbon emissions and our dependence on imported fossil fuels.

“If the scheme is approved, the local area can expect to receive £2,500 per megawatt of installed capacity each year over the 25 year lifetime of the wind farm, which could amount to between £375,000 and £550,000 being spent on local community based projects.”

Huntingdonshire District Council will carry out a consultation before making a decision on the proposal.