Villagers launch action group against wind farm plan near Woolfox Depot on A1

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VILLAGERS have started a campaign to fight plans to put a wind farm in open countryside close to their homes.

A public consultation into the plans by renewable energy company SSE to put up to 22 130-metre high wind turbines on Woolfox Airfield between Stretton, Clipsham and Tixover were held at the beginning of March.

No2Wind involving residents of neighbouring villages and environmental groups such as the Rutland branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England has been set up to campaign against the plans.

It claims the turbines will be seen as far away as Rutland Water, and would ruin the look and feel of the villages, which have been classed as conservation areas.

No2Wind campaigner Penny Isaacs, of Clipsham Road, Stretton, said: “We went to the consultation and it was all very glossy.

“The thing we are objecting to is that they want to put wind turbines very close to some of the villages, and it will spoil them.”

Rutland County Council is due to decide on plans for a meteorological mast to measure wind power at the Woolfox airfield site in the next couple of weeks.

The mast will be put in place if it is approved for about six months, and then, if the wind supply is strong enough, SSE will submit a full planning application to Rutland County Council for the Woolfox Wind Farm.

The action group is objecting to the mast plan.

Mrs Isaacs said: “There are other things to consider, other than the sheer size of the things.

“Horse riding in the area will become impossible because horses are spooked at having anything moving above their heads; the village is a conservation area and there are other ways of creating energy.

“I don’t want people to think that we are against renewable energy because we are not.

“I myself have solar panels on the roof of my house with energy that is put back into the National Grid. I just feel that these wind turbines are unnecessary.”

Mrs Isaacs said petitions would be going out in the villages in the near future and people are being encouraged to write to their MP to ask for their support.

Chairman of the Campaign to Protect Rutland England in Rutland Julian Lessey, from Stretton, said: “Besides up to 22 wind turbines higher than St Paul’s there would be 10m wide spine roads; seven-metre wide access tracks with drainage; a site-control building up to 400 sqm; crane hard-standing areas each about 1,500 sqm; and a permanent wind-measuring mast.

“In the 1970s Rutland, the smallest county in England, was persuaded to give up over 3,000 acres of its countryside in the wider interest of a reservoir.

“Now the smallest county is again being asked to give up a substantial chunk of its countryside, this time for one of the biggest on-shore wind farms in England.”

SSE has said it was reviewing all the feedback it had received its plans were subject to change.

Project manager Paul Carvey, said: “We are pleased that members of the public have taken the time to come and speak with us to find out more about our initial plans

“A wide range of views have been expressed through our questionnaires and we will be reviewing the comments and holding a further round of public exhibitions as the project progresses.”

For more information on the campaign visit www.stop-woolfox-wind-farm.co.uk