Action group urges residents to oppose wind farm scheme

PUBLISHED: 10:35 27 February 2009 | UPDATED: 21:41 31 May 2010

AN action group has urged residents to voice their opposition against plans to develop a wind farm to the south-west of Linton. Norfolk-based renewable energy company Enertrag UK has submitted plans for eight, 125m-high turbines to South Cambridgeshire Di

AN action group has urged residents to voice their opposition against plans to develop a wind farm to the south-west of Linton.

Norfolk-based renewable energy company Enertrag UK has submitted plans for eight, 125m-high turbines to South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) and Uttlesford District Council (UDC).

The cross-border scheme, if approved, would see seven turbines erected in South Cambridgeshire and one in Uttlesford.

But the Stop Linton Wind Farm Action Group has slammed the scheme as "totally inappropriate".

Spokesman for the group, Adrian Thomas, said: "We strongly oppose the construction of these huge turbines on this particular site.

"We will be submitting a consultation response and rebuttal document once we have viewed Enertrags formal application documentation. This will include how the turbines will affect landscape character, local heritage, public rights of way, threats to birds, bats and wildlife and potential traffic hazards on the notorious A1307."

He added: "The Linton site will probably be far less efficient than others because it is in one of the lowest wind speed areas in the country.

"As energy produced from the wind farm cannot be stored, conventional power stations will need to be on standby at all times adding hugely to the cost.

"The Royal Academy of Engineering has reported the total cost of wind power at 5.4 pence per unit versus 2.4 for coal, gas and nuclear."

Concerns have also been raised over the impact the turbines could have on wildlife, including at Linton Zoo.

Owner Kim Simmons said: "An increasing body of evidence suggests that wind turbines have the potential to affect the health of local residents as well as animals.

"I am particularly concerned about the animals here at the zoo and the possible effect the turbines will have on some of our rare breeding programmes."

Enertrag's project manager behind the scheme, David Linley, defended the applications and said the turbines, if operating at maximum power, would generate 14.5MW of electricity - enough energy for around 10,000 homes during the year.

He said: "We are doing this to develop and generate green energy, in line with Government targets.

"We have to be diligent in finding areas for renewable energy projects and believe the site at Linton offers itself to the possibility of developing a wind farm."

In response to the potential opposition that could be received against the plans, he added: "It happens on all these types of developments. Within the application we have to run a period of consultation and run a process by all the statutory bodies as part of an environment impact assessment. We have done that."

But the opposition is mounting; Mr Thomas pointed out that the group already has 1400 people signed up to its website petition, all of who are against the "potentially inefficient destruction of the landscape".

Mr Thomas added: "We strongly urge anyone who is concerned about landscape, potential noise intrusion, health and safety or any other issues arising from the construction of these turbines to make your views known by writing to the relevant planning departments and lodging your objections."

People who wish to view the plans, or lodge their opinions, have 21 days to do so from when the application is verified and made public to the parish councils.

Addresses for planning departments can be found on the respective district council websites and on the Stop Linton Wind Farm website, www.stoplwf.org.uk

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