Cathedral withdraws from wind farm plans
VICTORIOUS protesters have been celebrating after St Paul's Cathedral withdrew from a project to create an land-based wind farm in Essex. The famous church had been in favour of up to 26-turbines on part of 1,000 acres of land it owns at Bradwell-on-Sea and nearby Tillingham.
VICTORIOUS protesters have been celebrating after St Paul's Cathedral withdrew from a project to create an land-based wind farm in Essex.
The famous church had been in favour of up to 26-turbines on part of 1,000 acres of land it owns at Bradwell-on-Sea and nearby Tillingham.
But after vocal public opposition refused to go away, the Dean and Chapter of the cathedral announced its about-turn.
Wind energy developer, npower renewables, believed the site offered a “fantastic opportunity” with the potential for the turbines to supply electricity to 29,000 homes - enough for whole of Maldon district annually.
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But yesterday, the company revealed it would now be “reviewing its position”.
The turbines were earmarked for farmland behind Bradwell's former nuclear power station and near to the oldest church in the country - St Peter's Chapel, which dates back to AD 654.
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The Government has set a target for 10% of the country's energy to come from renewable fuels by 2010, but yesterday questions were being asked about the impact the turbines could have.
Richard Dewick, Maldon district councillor for the area, said people were “absolutely ecstatic”.
“St Paul's have been fantastic and listened very closely to what people felt, and fully understood the huge concerns felt by the local people and they have acted on them,” he added.
“There are the health implications, I know people who have had their lives completely spoilt by a wind farm, from the noise, day-in and day-out.”
He called for more research into alternative renewables such as sun or tidal power.
A spokeswoman for St Paul's said: “In the course of the public debate on the proposals there has been considerable protest from residents in the nearby villages of Tillingham and Bradwell.
“On balance Dean and Chapter has decided that the needs and opinions of local residents are paramount and accordingly have withdrawn their consent for the use of cathedral land for this purpose.”
Vicky Portwain, the project development manager, said: “npower renewables has been consulting widely on the scheme and held public exhibitions in early February 2005.
“Comments and supporter forms completed by local residents at the exhibition showed that around a third of those completing the forms were favour, with a third asking for further information.
“The Dengie area represents a fantastic opportunity for a wind farm and is one of the only areas in Essex where generation of clean energy can be realised to its full potential.”