Wind farm proposal opposed

AN MP has slammed the possibility of a wind farm in the heart of unspoilt countryside and vowed to fight "tooth and nail" against any proposals.Bernard Jenkin Conservative member for North Essex made his comments after an application to install two pieces of high-level equipment for measuring wind speed was made to Colchester Borough Council.

AN MP has slammed the possibility of a wind farm in the heart of unspoilt countryside and vowed to fight "tooth and nail" against any proposals.

Bernard Jenkin Conservative member for North Essex made his comments after an application to install two pieces of high-level equipment for measuring wind speed was made to Colchester Borough Council.

The two anemometers, both around 164ft high, would be used to help gauge whether or not conditions at Rockingham Farm, in Layer Marney, are suitable for wind generation over a period of two to three years.

If so a wind farm of as many as 14 turbines - each up to 350 ft tall - could be earmarked for the site, which is near the Grade I listed Layer Marney Tower.


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Mr Jenkin said: "I am in favour of wind power where it is viable and where it is not going to completely spoilt the environment.

"This wind farm would not be viable without very substantial Government subsidy.

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"I don't blame the land owner for trying to attract some of this subsidy, but it would be crazy to allow windmills to go up at this location."

He added: "This particular site is in the middle of unspoilt countryside where there are fantastic views, from historic Layer Marney Tower across to the Dengie Hundreds.

"Windmills would totally dominate the area and be visible for miles around."

Colchester Borough councillor Peter Crowe said local feelings were strongly against the possibility of a wind farm at the site.

"It is close to a Grade I listed building, and there are issues regarding the conservation area, wildlife and migrating birds.

"I personally don't think it's a viable proposition - it is not on high ground and there is not a lot of wind there.

"People are certainly against it, and I do not support it all. However, little can be done about the prospect of turbines until there is actually a planning application made for them."

Nick Charrington, owner of the 80ft high Layer Marney Tower - the biggest Tudor gatehouse in Britain - said: "I think it would be quite damaging for the area.

"Essex is quite a built up county, and this is one of the few areas with lovely open views."

A spokeswoman for National Wind Power, the firm behind the application, said if the wind speeds were suitable it might look to apply for a wind farm on the site.

"However, there are an awful lot of other things that need to be considered. This particular application is purely for the anemometer masts.

"Any subsequent application would be completely separate and would have to go through the proper procedures," she added.

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