Public inquiry opens into plans for two new wind turbine farms in Fenland

A 10-day public inquiry opened today following a decision by Fenland District Council to block plans for two new wind farms.

The inquiry will hear the appeals against the decisions on the two applications for three wind turbines on land north of Burnthouse Farm, Turves, and for nine turbines at Floods Ferry Farm, Staffurths Bridge, March.

Both of the applications, scaled back from 15 to nine and from five to three, were refused by the council in December 2008.

The appeals are being made by Fivestone Limited for the Turves application and by Scottish Power renewables (UK) Ltd, for the Floods Ferry turbines.

The inquiry at the Boathouse in Wisbech, was opened by inspector Jill Kingaby, a chartered town planner. The appeals will be determined by the Secretary of State as they involve ‘proposals of major significance for delivery of the Government’s climate change programme and energy policies’.

From a preliminary examination of the evidence, Ms Kingaby said she considered there to be two main issues in the appeals. “The effect of the proposed development on the character and appearance of the local landscape and the effect on the living conditions of local residents with particular reference to outlook/visual amenity and noise.”

When considering the planning applications, Fenland council thought the outlook of residents would be adversely affected because of the proximity of the turbines.

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Both Whittlesey and March Town Councils objected to the applications saying there was “an over intensification of wind farms”.

Wednesday saw opening statements from Fivestone, Scottish Power and Fenland District Council along with expert evidence from both companies on noise effects.

On Thursday representatives from all three parties were due to give statements on landscape and visual impact. Site visits will take place on Tuesday February 15

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