Power firm counting cost of revising plan

THE company behind proposals for a three-turbine wind farm claims it has been left more than �25,000 out of pocket after it was given the wrong location of an underground gas pipe.

Windpower Renewables has withdrawn the plans for the green energy site at Eye Airfield on the edge of Eye Industrial Estate, near Yaxley, but managing director Andy Hilton, who blames National Grid for the problem, said he would be re-submitting revised plans at some point in the future.

The turbines would generate enough green energy for 5,400 homes and pump power back into the nation’s electricity network.

Mr Hilton said a huge amount of money had been wasted on drawing up the plans that have now been pulled, while even more would be spent on tinkering with them before they can be re-submitted to Mid Suffolk District Council.

He said: “Unfortunately, National Grid only decided to tell us exactly where the pipeline was about three weeks ago and it was a little closer to our southernmost turbine than we were [originally] told.


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“Because we have changed the location of the turbine, we have had to withdraw and will re-submit – it’s a bit of a pain.”

He said the renewable energy company remained “very positive” about the project and the potential �10,000 community fund it would generate that would be used to pay for projects and facilities in local parishes.

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The plans did not prove as controversial as other similar projects in Suffolk and of the 39 responses received by the council during the planning consultation process, 25 supported the idea.

However, yesterday a National Grid spokeswoman said the pipeline had been correctly identified to Mr Hilton but the energy giant had objected to the location of one of the wind turbines.

She said: “We were contacted by the council on February 22 and responded on February 23, objecting to the application because one of the turbines was too close to the gas pipeline.

“The map we sent to the council was the same one we provided to Mr Hilton and shows the pipeline in the same location.

“As far as we are concerned there isn’t any issue with the location of the pipeline.”

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