Newborough Landscape Protection Group

Help us to protect our community

Rural Scrutiny Committee 16th at the Town Hall 7pm. Debate about PCCs plans to continue with Wind and Solar

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We would love as many of you as possible to turn up and show your interest in the future of our community.  Read the agenda here

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One thought on “Rural Scrutiny Committee 16th at the Town Hall 7pm. Debate about PCCs plans to continue with Wind and Solar

  1. Hi, have tried to attach following but lost it whilst looking for more info. I am detailing below a letter I sent to PCC and wonder if its contents might be of interest to Stewart Jackson and Greg Barker. The main points I was trying to make was the period of time, since the 1600s, we have been working to make the highest grade arable land possible by the intensity of the drainage system devised over this long period of time, which surely must play some part in brownland being chosen in lieu. Obviously I have tried to have all points made spot-on, but do not have the confidence or know-how to follow up on this. Would appreciate your comments

    Fox Cottage
    Bukehorn Road
    Thorney
    Peterborough
    PE6 0QG

    August 2013

    Planning Dept,
    Stuart House East Wing
    St John’s St
    Peterborough
    PE1 5DD

    Dear Sirs

    Ref Planning Application 13/00933, French Farm, French Drove Thorney

    I wish to place on record my strong objection to the proposed wind farm at French Farm, French Drove,Thorney. Some of my reasons for objection are as follows :

    Visual Impact:
    With over 140 wind turbines being planned in this area there is a real and serious threat to destroying the historic landscape of the area and archaelology which predates the Bronze Age. The turbines will be oppressive, overbearing and totally out of scale and architectural character with the current surroundings and unique Fenland landscape. Shadow Flicker and Reflection will also be unacceptable.

    Heritage
    The ‘Development’ and its close proximity to Thorney will have a negative impact on the character and setting of historic listed buildings around the Conservation Village
    and views will be impacted to and from the internationally important ancient monument of Flag Fen. Thorney is set in the Fens, which are known as the ‘Holy Land of the English’ because of the churches and cathedrals of Ely, Ramsey, Crowland, Thorney and Peterborough. Thorney Abbey is a former Benedictine Abbey and has been a site for Christian worship for over 1000 years and formed part of the agricultural estate of the Dukes of Bedford. Thorney still has its water tower and Heritage Centre. It is a quiet, unique and truly English village, one that this country should be proud of.

    Noise:
    Turbines will create noise pollution and vibration to a currently quiet setting, especially with the village being located on the receiving side of the generally prevailing south westerly wind. Furthermore the resonant noises associated with such development is bound to have an adverse effect on wildlife and local residents and more representative testing should take place to ensure the impact of ALL the turbines will not pose a real risk to health. Lincolnshire County Council has voted to advise local planning authorities in the area to restrict further wind development. The authority’s leader, Martin Hill, said that the county has 75 operating turbines and hundreds more in the planning pipeline and he does not want to see the county covered by a forest of wind turbines. Lincolnshire joins up with us!

    Drainage/Flooding
    Most of the Fenland lies within a few metres of sea level and originally consisted of salt-water wetlands which have been artificially drained and continue to be protected from floods. Land drainage was begun in earnest in the early 1630s and then the 1650s but not very successfully as by the end of the 17th century the fens were under water again. The major part of the draining of the fens was effected in the late 18th and early 19th century. The fens today are protected by 60 miles of embankments defending against the sea and 96 miles of river embankments and eleven internal drainage board groups are involved. As a result of this work, the land around and in Thorney is very rich arable land carefully looked after by the local farmers and there are estimated to be 4000 farms employing 27,000 people in full time and seasonal jobs. In turn they support around 250 businesses involved in food and drink manufacturing and distribution employing around 17,500 people. However the concrete poured into top grade fenland farmland to support these eight turbines, ie 900 cubic metres for each turbines, 130m high, will further displace water from the water table and reduce drainage through the soil causing disruption and increase flooding. This plan will take top grade fenland farmland out of production and put pressure on our roads.

    Ecology & Ornithology
    Over 70% of the Fens is involved in environmental stewardship schemes under which 270 miles of hedgerow and 1,780 miles of ditches are managed, providing large wildlife corridors and habitats for endangered animals, one being the vole.
    Of course with the disturbance caused by these excessively large wind turbines, all wildlife will suffer; birds, bats, owls can be killed; along with numerous swans in this area also. The turbines will be in close proximity and a threat to the Nene Wash’s SSSI and associated local conservation areas – a site of international importance for many very rare, threatened and protected species.

    The application will affect transportation, ie the developer has proposed a route transversing a Grade II listed narrow bridge along French Drove. The cumulative impact damage to roads already unsuitable for heavy vehicles would make these roads dangerous to other road users.

    Official data shows turbines are failing to deliver.
    The Renewable Energy Foundation has published a new study, ‘The Performance of Wind Farms in the United Kingdom and Denmark’, showing that the economic life of onshore wind turbines is between 10 and 15 years, not the 20 to 25 years projected by the wind industry and used for government projections and indeed as stated by West Coast Energy when they visited Thorney recently. The declining performance means that it is rarely economical to operate wind farms for more than twelve to fifteen years. After this period they must be replaced with new machines, a finding that has profound consequences for investment for investors and government alike. If required, the REF study can be downloaded in full.

    In conclusion the impact of this proposal far outweighs the benefits. As the Rt Hon Eric Pickles, Minister for Communities and Local Government states . . .. ‘The need for renewable energy does not automatically override environmental protections and the planning concerns of local communities and that local topography should be a factor in assessing whether wind turbines have a damaging impact on the landscape.’
    Incidentally there is brown land available in and around Peterborough.

    Yours faithfully

    Susan M Browne

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