RES submits plans for solar farm and turbines at Woolfox

The anemometer mast at the Woolfox site where RES wants to build nine wind turbines and a solar farm. Photo taken from the bridleway that runs from Pickworth to and alongside the Woolfox site by Colin Ashpole. EMN-140912-113026001
The anemometer mast at the Woolfox site where RES wants to build nine wind turbines and a solar farm. Photo taken from the bridleway that runs from Pickworth to and alongside the Woolfox site by Colin Ashpole. EMN-140912-113026001

A renewable energy firm has submitted plans for nine wind turbines and a solar farm.

RES wants to develop the former Woolfox airfield, just off the A1. The company held several public consultations and has now submitted a full planning application to Rutland County Council.

Development manager Chris Banks said: “Together, the wind and solar farms would be capable of generating renewable electricity equivalent to the annual average needs of over 20,000 homes – which for comparison is more than all the homes in Rutland.”

The 2011 Census recorded 15,002 houses in the county.

A protest group, Stop Woolfox Wind Farm, was set up to fight the plans. Member Colin Ashpole said the turbines would spoil the attractive Rutland countryside.

He added: “The turbines would dominate the skyline and would be seen from Rutland Water and places up to 20km away. They would be sited in what is described as ‘particularly attractive countryside’ where there are many regularly used footpaths and bridal paths.”

Mr Ashpole also cited concerns about noise, interference with radar, danger to wildlife and the proposal to use overhead cables to take the power generated south of Stamford.

But Mr Banks said the closest house to the turbines would be more than 950m away, and the site was not in any designated conservation area or site of natural beauty.

He also pointed out that a community fund would be set up for the benefit of people living near the turbines and solar farm.

The plans can be seen and commented on at www.rutland.gov.uk using application reference 2014/1003/MAJ.