September 2, 2013

Hundreds turn out to support campaigners opposed to wind farm near Helmdon and Greatworth

Buckingham Advertiser | 1 September 2013 |

Hundreds of people from across the Advertiser district showed their opposition to a wind farm during a fundraising fun day in Helmdon last weekend.

The Garden Extravaganza and Fun Day at Peter’s Farm in Helmdon featured an auction and family fun and raised nearly £3,000 for the community to continue its fight against a proposal for five 125m high wind turbines at Spring Ridge Farm, just off the B4525 Welsh Lane.

The Helmdon, Stuchbury and Greatworth Wind Action Group (HSGWAG) needed to raise extra cash for their legal representation and expert witnesses ahead of a planning inquiry into the proposals from Broadview Energy.

Some residents could end up living just a few hundred metres away from the wind farm if they cannot persuade a planning inspector that Spring Ridge Farm is the wrong place for the turbines.

HSGWAG chairman Keith Jones said several hundred people came and went over the course of the four-and-a-half hour event, many of whom came from outside of the three villages in HSGWAG.

He said: “We attracted a lot of people from beyond the three villages, but equally we attracted all the people within the villages.

“Considering we are now in the fourth year of fighting this campaign, the fact that people are still prepared to turn out and support us made me feel very good.”

Mr Jones said residents are proud of the ‘intimate, gently undulating’ landscape of the area and believe the turbines will be an unacceptable intrusion into that landscape.

He added they also did not believe wind energy could make an efficient contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions.

The planning inquiry, set to take place in October, will be the second time an inspector has reviewed South Northants Council’s July 2012 decision to refuse permission for the wind farm.

The first inquiry went in favour of the developer but HSGWAG and SNC pushed for a judicial review.

At a High Court hearing in January, judges dismissed four of the claims but upheld one which resulted in the planning permission being quashed.

On its website Broadview said: “If the proposed wind farm were to be constructed, it would generate enough electricity to meet the annual needs of 7,947 households in the region. It would also lead to the displacement of electricity and associated carbon emissions generated by fossil fuelled power stations.

“In addition, should the wind farm become operational, a community fund would be set up that would support local community groups and projects with up to £750,000 over the wind farm’s 25 year lifetime.”

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