Are 390ft windmills set to power city?

Stoke Heights Windpark photomontage

Stoke Heights Windpark photomontage

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WINDMILLS with rotor tips soaring up to more than twice the height of Nelson’s Column could generate enough electricity to power nearly one third of the homes in Milton Keynes.

Electricity company Ecotricity has submitted a planning application for a windpark of 15 windmills at Stoke Heights, next to the M1.

The application for 356 hectares has led to a number of comments from members of the public. A minority have been in favour and those against oppose the impact on local views and wildlife.

According to documents submitted to planners, each windmill would have a maximum tip height of up to 120m – some 393ft – together with access tracks and hard standing areas and a temporary site compound. Nelson’s Column in London is 170ft (51.59m) in comparison.

Milton Keynes Council planners have about three months to formally consider the application for the site at Stoke Lodge Farm, in Purse Lane, Stoke Goldington, near Newport Pagnell. The council is aiming to determine the application by September 26.

Ecotricity has held three public exhibitions in Stoke Goldington and Hanslope to discuss the proposals. Around 300 people took the opportunity to attend.

The submission of the planning application follows an exhaustive consultation exercise for the company. It has carried out more than a year of on-site studies and environmental research, as well as the applications.

Ecotricity spokesman Mike Cheshire said: “We’ve listened very carefully to local people’s views before submitting this project, and refined the number of windmills in our final proposal to 15 to bring about the greatest environmental benefit for the least environmental impact. 15 windmills are enough to power over 25,000 local homes each year – that’s a quarter of the homes in the district.

“This wind park will make a vital contribution to the provision of clean energy in Buckinghamshire, and that’s something I think everyone should feel proud of. We all use electricity, so we all have a say – and a responsibility – to decide where it comes from now and for future generations.”

Ecotricity says the plan would stop more than 36,000 tonnes of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere every year.

The application can be viewed at the offices of Milton Keynes Council.

l Visit the application online at http://bit.ly/ofaNXY and search for number 11/01193/FULEIS