Anger at new wind farm plan
CAMPAIGNERS have reacted angrily to renewed proposals for a wind farm in Essex - even though they have been scaled down.Npower Renewables originally planned to build 26 turbines on land near the historic church of St Peter's at Bradwell but, when residents voiced their concerns, a number of landlords withdrew their permission.
CAMPAIGNERS have reacted angrily to renewed proposals for a wind farm in Essex – even though they have been scaled down.
Npower Renewables originally planned to build 26 turbines on land near the historic church of St Peter's at Bradwell but, when residents voiced their concerns, a number of landlords withdrew their permission.
Now the power company has submitted a new application for 10 turbines to Maldon District Council. It argues the wind farm would produce enough green energy to meet the annual electricity needs of up to 10,000 homes for generations to come.
But residents are determined it will not succeed. District council member for Bradwell and Tillingham, Richard Dewick, claimed: “It's an horrific monstrosity. If it happens it would totally destroy the area.
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“It would industrialise one of the last very wild areas in Essex. It's a very primitive landscape. It attracts tourists and birdwatchers because of its tranquillity and remoteness.
“The land also contains the oldest Christian church in Britain, about 1,000 metres from the nearest turbine. But on the strength of the landscape, it should not be allowed. This thing will be visible from miles and miles away.”
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Mr Dewick claimed that since campaigning began, only one landowner had maintained his consent for turbines to be built on his land. This reduced available land for the wind farm from 2,000 to 400 acres, he said.
But his main concern was for the 1,800 residents in his ward.
“The worrying thing is the close proximity to the village. It's within 600 metres of the nearest house. The whole village is within 2,000 metres. A number of authorities say the minimum distance to residences should be 2,000 metres because of the noise.”
Npower Renewables project manager, Vicky Portwain, said that the wind farm could produce enough green power to meet the average annual electricity needs of between 8,100 and 10,600 homes well into the future.
She said: “At the moment Essex has no installed wind power generation, so the wind farm at Bradwell-on-Sea is a great opportunity for the county to start generating renewable energy and making a contribution to tackling some of the key environmental problems we face at both a local and global scale.
“This wind farm proposal is an important step towards a sustainable East of England, both for ourselves and future generations.
“We have taken our time in order to carry out extensive and very detailed environmental work and consultation. The many studies undertaken to assess the project have now been completed and the results have been recorded in the environmental statement document submitted with the planning application. We believe that the work carried out is thorough and addresses the issues that were raised during the consultation period.”
The Dean and Chapter at St Paul's Cathedral had previously agreed to turbines being built on 1,000 acres of land but later withdrew consent. Last October, as reported in the EADT, the power company was forced to cut the planned number of turbines by more than half.