Fenland in a quandary over expansion of wind turbines but council rejects referendum

THERE will be no referendum in Fenland over whether the district should get more wind turbines.

With around 50 already operating or approved- and more in the pipeline- Fenland Council has come under pressure to halt their proliferation.

But Council Leader Alan Melton has rejected a suggestion by independent councillor Mark Archer for a referendum.

“We did that with the ballot box,” he said, noting the massive majority enjoyed by the Conservatives in Fenland.

Conservative councillor Martin Curtis had laid down a challenge at a full council meeting by questioning whether the council would mount a legal challenge to the Government who had over ruled local objections and allowed more turbines locally.

Cllr Melton said Fenland supported renewable energy but he agreed “totally, thoroughly” that the district had done its fair share by allowing so many wind farms.

He felt the best wind turbines were out at sea “where they can’t be seen from the beach” but he wasn’t sure if the council will pursue a legal challenge against the Government.

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“We’ll get back to you,” he told Cllr Curtis. He said legal action would only be considered “if it’s viable”.

Councillor Jan French, portfolio holder for planning, said every wind farm application “is taken on its merits.”

She was asked by Councillor Jonathan Farmer if wind farm developers might contribute more to the community – perhaps helping Fenland with the development of electric cars.

However Cllr French said there was little in law the council could ask wind farm developers but she thought it a great idea “and we’ll look into it.”

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