Saturday, April 27, 2013

Campaigners fear 
new turbine proposal

Cow Pastures Wind turbine near Whittlebury.
Campaigners have said the combined effect of individual wind turbines popping up around south Northants will change the landscape ‘substantially’.
For the past two years members of the Tove Action Group (TAG) have been preparing to respond to a planning application by wind energy firm Gamesa for up to eight, 400ft (126m) turbines.
Last year Gamesa carried out a public consultation exercise on the wind farm they hope to build in an area confined by the A5 at Paulerspury and the village of Alderton to the south, the A508 and the River Tove to the north.
This week they said a plan for a single 252ft (77m) turbine a few miles north near Blisworth would be a substantial structure and would demonstrate the impact of the larger proposals.
In a statement TAG said they are still waiting to find out if the Gamesa plans will progress, and point to the single turbine in Cow Pastures near Towcester which they say can been seen from far away.
The statement continued: “If the Blisworth turbine goes up, people will have a good sense of the enormity of the visual impact which an entire wind farm would have.
“Some might argue that individual turbines have little visual impact, but TAG has pointed out previously that it is the cumulative impact that is significant, and individual turbines popping up all over the area will be visible and will substantially change the landscape.
“It will be increasingly difficult to find anywhere in the local area where turbines do not disrupt the view.”
This month South Northants Council told land owner Roy Taylor he would not need an environment impact assessment to build the single turbine off Stoke Road near Blisworth.
Mr Taylor, who also owns the land which is the focus of the Gamesa plans, wants to build the 500kw turbine to power the nearby Blisworth Hill Farm Business Park and several farm buildings, with excess electricity flowing into the National Grid.
Mr Taylor said: “TAG has its own view of the look of the turbines, personally I don’t mind them and I think a few of them around the countryside add to it.
“But the reason I’m putting them up is that I have 24 different tenants on the business park and wanted try to offset their carbon footprint.
“We also want charging points for electric cars, and we have one tenant who has a fleet of vans for local deliveries who has expressed an interest.
“It will let us produce electricity at a fixed rate for the next 20 years.
“It is a business opportunity for me in terms of diversification and raising the profile of my business, but at the same time doing my bit.“