Wind farm will provide power for 17,000 homes’
ENOUGH electricity will be produced by the proposed wind farm near West Wratting to power almost one third of the houses in the South Cambridgeshire District. The wind farm, which would be built by Renewable Energy Systems (RES), would provide power to 16
ENOUGH electricity will be produced by the proposed wind farm near West Wratting to power almost one third of the houses in the South Cambridgeshire District.
The wind farm, which would be built by Renewable Energy Systems (RES), would provide power to 16,700 homes.
The company has distributed about 6,000 leaflets explaining its plans to nearby residents.
It will make its planning application soon, and if there is enough public interest RES says it will organise a visit to a wind farm so residents can see for themselves what it is like.
South Cambridgeshire District Councillor Sam Agnew, who represents the Balsham ward within which the wind farm will be, said: "Although there are still details to be finalised in the application, particularly regarding the impact on the environment and the road network, if the project meets our environmental requirements, I would support it.
"We wouldn't want people to be upset by it being too close, but it seems the planned location is fairly isolated and well outside the village."
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The 13 turbines, each producing 2.3 megawatts of electricity, would be constructed on land at Wadlow Farm, outside West Wratting.
Each turbine would be up to 120m (380ft) to the tip of its blades and the equivalent carbon dioxide savings will be 67,000 tonnes per year.
The rural location means there is abundant wildlife nearby, but Cllr Agnew predicted that when the farm is use there will be very little impact on animal and plant life in the area.
Cllr Agnew is also a member of the South Cambridgeshire District Council Climate Change Committee, and as such is particularly concerned that the plan is environmentally sound.
He said that RES has pledged to contribute money to the surrounding villages if it is successful with its application.
The project manager for the development, Annette Deveson, said: "We have spent over three years looking at this area and Wadlow Farm is by far one of the best sites around.
"Now that all this research has made us confident that the site will have minimal impact on the environment, we can go ahead and apply for planning permission.
"The Wadlow Farm site is perfect in so many ways. It is in an area which is not very densely populated, meaning that we can have a very good separation distance from the nearest houses.
"This will reduce the visual impact and ensure there is no noise nuisance."
Wind power has many benefits over other energy sources - no polluting emissions, never running out, being efficient and reliable, economically viable, safe and increasing our energy security.
The construction work will also provide opportunities for local construction firms and bring economic benefits for the community.
Mrs Deveson said: "We believe that this wind farm will be an asset to West Wratting and Balsham and the surrounding area, providing clean, green electricity to homes and businesses and helping the community do its bit in cutting greenhouse gas emissions and combating the threat of climate change.
"We expect the project to bring local economic benefits and contribute to a new, sustainable industry for the UK."
The Department for Trade and Industry has warned that if Britain relies on fossil fuels, it could be dependent on imports for 75 per cent of our primary fuel needs by 2020.
The East of England Regional Assembly is currently establishing targets for renewable energy generation in the region.
It was proposed in the Draft East of England Plan that the East of England should be aiming for 14 per cent of the region's electricity to be produced from renewable resources by 2010.
To meet this target, it has been estimated that between 300 and 400 wind turbines will be needed and the Wadlow Farm proposal is a step towards this.
RES is a wholly British company that has been at the forefront of the development of the wind energy market since the early 1980s.
To date, it has built more than 1,000MW of wind capacity across the UK, Europe and the USA.