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Protesters gather as public inquiry begins into Bicton windfarm near Kimbolton

Protesters gathered to voice their disapproval at plans for a three-turbine windfarm as a public inquiry got underway.

The application for three 125m–high turbines on an old airfield between the villages of Kimbolton, Tilbrook and Stow Longa, was refused by Huntingdonshire District Council last year but developers Broadview Energy have decided to appeal the decision.

Campaigners from the Stop Bicton Wind Farm Action Group (SBWF) picketed the first day of the public inquiry, which was held at Jubilee Park, in Huntingdon, on Tuesday.

Richard Murphy, chairman of SBWF, said: “The Bicton Wind Farm plans should never have made it to a first public inquiry, let alone a second.

“Broadview’s actions have imposed huge costs on the taxpayer while their revised scheme has attracted even greater opposition.

“It is time the Bicton Wind Farm proposals were thrown out once and for all.”

The group has voiced a number of objections to the project including changes to the historic landscape, noise and a lack of significant economic benefit to the local economy.

Tom Cosgrove, project manager for Broadview Energy, said: “We have taken great care with this revised proposal and we believe it complies with the current planning policy guidelines.

“We are pretty confident that the scrutiny it will undergo during this public inquiry will show that it is a good proposal.”

The turbines could generate enough energy for up to 5,000 homes per year, providing an important source of domestic energy, according to Mr Cosgrove.

He said: “It’s all about balance, as any development can be expected to change the landscape.

“You have to weigh that up with the benefits which would be brought by the scheme.

“We believed we have found the right balance.”

Broadview’s original application was for a four-turbine wind scheme, but this was rejected by councillors and dismissed by a planning inspector in 2012.

The public inquiry began on Tuesday and is expected to last for up to two weeks.

The inspector’s report will be submitted to the secretary of state for a final decision.