Worried residents turned out in force last night (Wednesday, May 15) to voice their fierce opposition to the Asfordby windfarm at a public session as part of the inquiry.
About 80 residents attended the session, with 12 individual speakers giving their reasons why they’re strongly opposed to the proposed windfarm. No-one spoke up in favour of Peel Energy’s proposal for nine turbines up to 125m in height on the former Asfordby mine site.
Residents who gave their objections were from Melton, Holwell, Wymondham, Saxelbye, Frisby-on-the-Wreake, Ab Kettleby, Twyford, Wartnaby and Normanton, near Bottesford. Also among the speakers was Peter Finch, on behalf of the Leicestershire Campaign to Protect Rural England.
Among the concerns raised were the impact the windfarm would have on the rural landscape, residential amenity and heritage assets, noise from the turbines, impact on those using bridleways and rights of way and the unsuitable location for a windfarm.
Peel is arguing that the stated reasons for turning its application down – impact on the landscape and heritage assets – were insufficient grounds for refusal while councillors had also gone against their own planning officer’s recommendation.
Alastair Eperon, a Holwell resident for about 20 years, said: “The proposed development would have deeply shocking and transformational impact upon this environment. The turbines will loom very high on the horizon and completely destroy landscape views.
“We’re also concerned that the familiar sounds of bird song and rustling trees will be obliterated by humming pylons.”
Gill Musson, of Wymondham, said: “The height of the turbines will be more than four times that of the tower of St Mary’s Church in Melton and the spire of the 13th century churches in the villages.
“Vantage points, a view of nearly 360 degrees from the A607 above Frisby-on-the-Wreake, will be severely damaged by the proposed turbines.”
Rupert Marsh, of Saxelbye, pointed out the tallest turbine would only be 10m lower than the London Eye. He said: “The landscape will become insignificant. There’s a real risk that we will suffer from intrusive and disturbing noise at night and flicker during the day. From Grimston the turbines will over power the sky line and from the A6006 above Shoby they will dominate the approach to Melton.”
William Bissill, of Ab Kettleby, said: “As a local horse rider I feel the turbines will stop the use of the permissive bridleway and Welby Lane. As this is an area with high equestrian use, it’s a totally illogical place for this construction as the turbines are far too close to the highlighted areas and will cause an unacceptable risk of an accident from spooking horses.
“As a whole the turbines make this area impossible to enjoy from an equine and visual perspective, therefore making the turbines inappropriate and unwanted in this highly populated and scenic area.”
Dean Wriggall, of Wartnaby, added: “If Peel get their way we will have nine monstrous turbines in our eye line. They will destroy the visual luxury that we enjoy today.”
The inquiry, which is being held at the council’s former Phoenix House offices in Nottingham Road, continues. On Tuesday (May 21) the inquiry will begin to hear evidence on the subject of noise. Closing submissions from all parties concerned will be made next Friday (May 24).
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