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Council and wind farm firm at odds over suitability report  

Credit:  By Andy Morris | Rugby Observer | 29 January 2014 | www.therugbyobserver.co.uk ~~

Villages around the Swift valley have united in their opposition to a proposed wind farm.

The parish councils of Churchover, Cotesbach, Monks Kirby, Bitteswell and Pailton have all published detailed objections to the four-turbine development backed by energy firm RES.

The objections are based around such aspects as visual impact, damage and pollution resulting from construction, environmental damage, spoiling views and noise pollution.

English Heritage, Warwickshire Highways, Leicestershire County Council, The Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, the county biodiversity team and the British Horse Society have also expressed concern, according to Lorne Smith of protest group Against Subsidised Windfarms Around Rugby (ASWAR).

He added over 210 objections had been registered from around 170 households with it set to go to the planning committee on March 12.

RES defended the development by arguing wind power is efficient and reliable, costs less and helps the economy by providing jobs.

The company also backed up its claims the site had been identified as suitable for a wind farm, a claim disputed by ASWAR.

RES pointed to a Landscape Capacity Study commissioned by the council in 2010, which states that the area “can potentially accommodate development in the category of six to 12 turbines, but it would be highly desirable for clusters to be in the lower end of the range”.

A council spokesman clarified: “The study is used to inform policy and guidance. It is not in itself the policy. It identifies the windy parts of the borough that could support a wind farm.”

VILLAGES around the Swift valley have united in their opposition to a proposed wind farm.

The parish councils of Churchover, Cotesbach, Monks Kirby, Bitteswell and Pailton have all published detailed objections to the mooted Swift Wind Farm, a four-turbine development backed by energy firm RES.

The objections are based around such aspects as visual impact, damage and pollution resulting from construction, environmental damage, spoiling views and noise pollution.

Lorne Smith of protest group Against Subsidised Windfarms Around Rugby (ASWAR) said: “The democratic structure is certainly singing from the same song sheet.”

He added that English Heritage, Warwickshire Highways, Leicestershire County Council, The Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, the County biodiversity team and the British Horse Society had all expressed concern over the windfarm.

Mr Smith said that over 210 objections had been registered from around 170 households, and that the borough council would continue to accept objections up to the end of February, ahead of an anticipated Planning Committee hearing on Wednesday March 12.

He concluded: “It would be fantastic to see as many people as possible on the Town Hall steps for a final Rally to help the planning committee councillors make the right decision and prove again to the arrogant, greedy developers that the community does not want their industrial turbines to ruin one of Warwickshire’s most beautiful heritage and wildlife sites.”

RES defended the development by arguing that wind power is efficient and reliable, costs less and helps the economy by providing jobs.

The company also backed up its claims that the site had been identified as suitable for a wind farm, a claim disputed by ASWAR.

RES pointed to a Landscape Capacity Study commissioned by the council in 2010, which states that the area “can potentially accommodate development in the category of 6-12 turbines, but it would be highly desirable for clusters to be in the lower end of the range”.

An RES spokesman added: “RES firmly believes that the site is well suited for a wind farm development of the scale we are proposing, i.e. four turbines situated almost 1km from the nearest village.”

A council spokesman clarified: “The study is used to inform policy and guidance. It is not in itself the policy.

“It identifies the windy parts of the borough that could support a wind farm. From here we use this information to help allocate land according to where is suitable for different things.”

Source:  By Andy Morris | Rugby Observer | 29 January 2014 | www.therugbyobserver.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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