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Campaigners argue turbines will be too close to footpaths



By Gavin Moore

South Northants residents who do not belong to the campaign group opposed to a wind farm near Helmdon, gave their evidence during the second week of a planning enquiry.

Last June South Northants  Council refused to grant Broadview Energy Ltd permission to build five 125m high turbines at Spring Farm Ridge  just off the B4525.

On Tuesday around 30 people not associated with the Helmdon, Stutchbury ad Greatworth Wind farm Action Group (HSGWAG) spoke out against the plan.

Roger Miles, the parish paths warden and HSGWAG member, said no one raised their hands when Planning  Inspector Elizabeth Fieldhouse asked if there would be anyone speaking in favour of the wind farm.


Mr Miles added: “We are very concerned that the developer is seeking to micro manage the issues by slight adjustments of the positions of the turbines.

“But that fails to address the visual impact on some intimate, tranquil countryside which is much appreciated by a good many people.

“And not just the residents, but also walking groups who visit Helmdon from all over the region each week.”

Mr Miles said around 30 people, including many from Brackley, joined the Helmdon Health Walk (free walks sponsored by SNC) on Monday evening, which are designed for those who currently do little or no exercise.

Last week Mrs Fieldhouse heard evidence from landscape and cultural heritage experts from each side and on Monday she visited the site.

Campaigners floated blimps to illustrate the height of the proposed turbines from adjacent fields after Broadview refused permission for the blimps to be flown from the site.


HSGWAG member Fiona Kelly said one of the most contentious issues has been the proximity of turbines to the dense network of foot paths in the area.

She said it could mean turbine blades might be turning directly over walkers’ heads.

The inquiry was set to end yesterday Thursday, and the findings are expected to be published on  Friday, July 13.


The Brackley & Towcester Advertiser – 25 May 2012









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