Concerns put forward on Woolfox plans

Wind turbines.
Wind turbines.

The “strength and determination” of local opposition to a proposed windfarm in Rutland were made clear at a meeting to outline residents concerns.

Around 70 villagers turned up at Stretton Church on Thursday last week to object to plans for nine 130m wind turbines on the former Woolfox airfield site, near Greetham, submitted by renewable energy firm RES.

The firm has also proposed a 67-acre solar park on the same site to “optimise renewable electricity generation.”

Colin Ashpole, chairman of the Woolfox Windfarm Action Group, who organised the meeting, said: “There is overwhelming local opposition to the wind farm.

“We were keen to get over the point that while Stretton, Clipsham and Pickworth are the most affected, given their proximity to the site, this is in fact a Rutland and South Lincolnshire issue.”

The action group’s concerns include the size and dominance of the turbines, the impact on the landscape and the heritage of the area and the noise they will generate.

Jeremy Hunter-Coddington, of Bradley Lane, Clipsham said: “This is a huge field of turbines that can be seen from miles around.”

Nigel Evans, of West Street, Clipsham said: “This development will impact all residents of surrounding villages.”

Robert Miles, of Main Street, Clipsham said: “Woolfox is in an area where there are conservation villages with strict planning restrictions. Nine huge wind turbines will have a huge impact on the landscape.”

Cliff Bacon, secretary of the action group, said: “We were pleased with the turnout at the meeting and the strength and determination of the local opposition. We now need to get more people in Rutland to understand the enormity and dangers of this proposal.”

A spokesman for RES said: “Bringing solar and wind generation together on a single site will maximise the renewable electricity generation potential - for example at night when the wind might still blow but the sun does not shine - and provide options to reduce the amount of grid infrastructure required to connect the two projects separately.”

Rutland County Councils has sent the proposal to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for guidance on who should determine its outcome.

Renewable energy projects that have 50 megawatts capacity are decided by the Government’s planning inspectorate. As the two RES applications together have a combined capacity of 63 megawatts, the council said they needed clarification.