Concerns over wind farm plan

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THE war of words has continued between residents and the company planning to build 15 wind turbines near Stoke Goldington and Hanslope.

Residents have formed the group ‘Save Our Salcey ‘ to promote their fight against Ecotricity – the firm which has submitted plans to Milton Keynes Council to build the turbines nearby.

The developers of the proposed wind factory, which would sit between Salcey Forest and Stokepark Wood, estimate the wind turbines would generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 30 per cent of households in Milton Keynes.

But the ‘Save Our Salcey’ campaign says that this estimate is seriously flawed as it is based on incorrect and out-of-date figures.

Ian Allen, chairman of ‘Save Our Salcey’ said: “Ecotricity has submitted a planning application based on electricity generation figures that are clearly wrong and their estimates of the benefits, both in terms of households served and carbon dioxide saved, are seriously flawed and misleading.

“Only talking about households doesn’t tell the whole story.

“Take into account non-domestic usage, such as offices, commercial and industrial premises, shopping malls and retails parks, hospitals, schools and other public buildings, and these wind turbines would generate only a tiny fraction of Milton Keynes’ annual electricity usage.

“Their figures don’t stand up to scrutiny and have been totally discredited.”

But Ecotricity are urging people who may be affected by the turbines to treat the subject with an open mind, and to find out more information before forming an opinion.

They also pointed fingers at the ‘Save Our Salcey’ group for scaremongering to ‘whip up fear.’

Mike Cheshire, spokesperson for Ecotricity, said: “It’s completely understandable that some people have concerns as – unlike, say pylons or mobile masts – windmills are still a relatively unfamiliar sight, with an average of only one for every 100 sq. km in the UK.

“But scare stories and images simply whip up fear and anxiety among people and that’s not helpful for anyone.

“The truth is we’ve consulted with a wide range of organisations including both the Forestry Commission and the British Horse Society, neither of whom have raised any objection to the proposals.”