A massive environmental scheme near Huntingdon could be ruled out as a potential site for wind farms in a new plan being drawn up by Huntingdonshire District Council.
The council is looking to identify areas suitable for wind turbines but one of the options under consideration could rule out the Great Fen, more than 9,000 acres of land north of Huntingdon, which is being returned to a more natural landscape in a 50 year project which will link the Woodwalton Fen and Holme Fen national nature reserves.
The council has opened consultations with residents – who will now get a bigger say on the location of new wind farms – and is seeking their views as to where wind farms should go.
Cllr Graham Bull, executive member for planning policy, housing and infrastructure, said: “Any wind turbine proposals put forward within any area would be subject to consideration of all planning impacts at the planning application stage.
“Impacts considered at the application stage will include those identified by local people who may be affected by the proposal.”
Cllr Bull said: “The consultation will remain open until January 16, 2017, and anyone is welcome to comment via the consultations link on the front page of the council’s website by the closing date.”
The council does not have a preferred option on where wind farms should be built at this stage, but it has a list of five choices.
One of the options includes preserving the Great Fen as a setting where wind turbines would not be suitable.
Two other options are identifying the whole of the district as being available for wind farms and the opposite position saying that the whole of the district is unsuitable.
Landscape around prominent or conspicuous features could also be deemed to be unsuitable for wind farm development and a fifth option takes into account sites where small turbines could be appropriate.
Huntingdonshire already has a number of wind farms, including controversial developments at Cotton Farm, Graveley, and Woolley Hill, near Alconbury, which led to protest campaigns.
The council will select a preferred option after the consultation exercise and taking residents’ views into account.
Its document takes into account future electricity supply and generation, climate change and current planning requirements on wind farm development.
The move follows a Government decision last year to give people the final say on wind farm applications in their areas.
The consultation document can be found at: www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk.
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