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Airvolution appeals Swale council decision not to allow Sheppey windfarm  

Credit:  By Andy Gray | Kent Online | 19 April 2015 | www.kentonline.co.uk ~~

Controversial plans for a wind farm on Sheppey are back on the table.

Airvolution, the company which has earmarked the installation of four turbines at New Rides Farm in Eastchurch, has appealed the original decision to reject its proposal.

Swale council’s planners voted against the scheme when it went before the committee in January.

Richard Mardon, Airvolution’s chief executive, said: “We have not made the decision to appeal lightly, because there are significant costs for both sides.

“Ultimately, we’re looking at a project that had no objections from statutory consultees, support from the local community and a recommendation to approve from the council’s own planning officers.”

The four turbines, measuring 126m from base to blade tip, were proposed for the farm which is on a private path off Leysdown Road.

Airvolution said the project would provide enough energy for 6,100 homes and a community benefit fund of £47,000 per year, or more than £1.1 million over a 25-year operating period.

The company also signed a pledge for a £23,000-a-year local apprentice scheme and said it was committed to hiring 60% of the construction work within Kent.

Planning committee member Cllr Andy Booth (Con), an opponent of the scheme, said he remained “vehemently” against it.

“I’ll be seeking to uphold the very reasons the application was refused originally,” he said.

“It will cause demonstrable harm to the landscape and there are significant issues relating to the health and wellbeing of nearby residents which so far haven’t been addressed by the applicant.”

Fellow member, Cllr Lesley Ingham (Con), has also voiced concerns about the medical implications relating to wind farms.

Speaking at a previous planning meeting, she said: “I have no problems with turbines, I have a problem with where they are.”

New Rides Farm runs parallel to Church Road where two 121m electricity generators were installed on land belonging to HMP Standford Hill in 2012.

It means Eastchurch is the only area of the borough that already has on-shore wind turbines.

Airvolution’s Richard Mardon said: “We worked tirelessly to consult with the community, businesses and institutions to ensure that our proposal was appropriate to the site and brought meaningful benefits to the area.

“We’re hopeful for a decision to be made before the end of the year.”

Source:  By Andy Gray | Kent Online | 19 April 2015 | www.kentonline.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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