Litlington wind farm proposal attacked by villagers

PUBLISHED: 14:34 03 November 2011

Ralph Parker with residents Wendy and Alan Harrington

Ralph Parker with residents Wendy and Alan Harrington

STIFF opposition met plans to build five 100m tall wind turbines in Litlington at a public meeting held this week.

The Highfield Wind Farm is in the early stages of development and the public are currently being consulted.

Two displays had been erected outside Litlington Village Hall, on Monday, criticising wind energy as a concept and the local feasibility of the proposed turbines.

Hilary May of Church Street, Litlington, had been collecting signatures opposing the project for a week, and had amassed 70 names, as well as creating a board countering positive displays set up inside the hall.

“I decided to look into it because I was in favour of renewable energy, but wind does not appear to be the way forward,” the 53-year-old said.

“70,000 are required to replace one coal-powered station and they never will match up, as the wind doesn’t blow all the time and when it does they can’t store it.

“If you go to the heath for a walk, you know it would spoil the view and they would be close to the A505 which would be dangerous – everyone would watch them.”

She also claimed the vortex created might kill barbastelle bats that roost at Wimpole Hall – one of the few places in the country the rare animals can be found.

Another member of the public, who had set up a lighted display in the car park, believes the turbines could have a dangerous impact on human life.

“I think it would cause deaths. We have had a number of deaths on the A505 and there will be an increase because of distraction,” said Ron Mancey.

“There are a number of people in the village who oppose the plans and are starting to get together – we have the nucleus of an action group.”

If plans to build the wind farm, which would be located at Highfield Farm, move forward, the five turbines would be located just outside Royston and the proposal could see the wind turbines joined by a 60m anemometry mast, which would measure wind speed.

Forty-three-year-old farmer Ralph Parker, who owns the plot, is the man behind the scheme, and is working with engena, a renewable energy consultancy.

He said: “About five years ago we were looking at diversification for the farm, and looking at various options, and this is the one we came up with.

“At the time cereal prices were depressed and farming is cyclical, it goes up and down. This would provide a secure income.

“There has been a mixed response, I have got an interactive website and I would say some are indifferent and some are against. I have had various supporters as well.

“I don’t think the noise complaints are valid. I’m going to be closer than anyone else.

“In four or five years people won’t notice the difference or will have got used to them.”

An investment of £10-15m is required to complete the project.

And it is estimated the turbines could supply 27 400 megawatts of electricity – enough for around 5,000 homes.

At present an environmental impact assessment is being conducted, which will be submitted with a planning application to South Cambridgeshire District Council.

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