Anger grows as en­ergy park plans go on dis­play

Res­i­dents raise con­cerns about ru­ral Peter­bor­ough in face of so­lar panel plans

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Planning - By Stephenbriggs stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk Twit­ter: @ Ptstephenb 01733 588734

Con­tro­ver­sial plans to turn farm­land into en­ergy parks with wind tur­bines and so­lar pan­els trig­gered an an­gry out­burst at the first pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion event yes­ter­day.

Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil is seek­ing pub­lic re­ac­tion to its pro­posed so­lar and wind farms, which are planned to be built near Thor­ney and New­bor­ough, yes­ter­day at Bed­ford Hall, Thor­ney.

A num­ber of res­i­dents liv­ing near the farms af­fected turned up, in­clud­ing Nigel Mar­den ( 54) of The Reaches, Thor­ney. He­said: “One of the so­lar farms is be­ing placed in front of my pic­ture win­dow which looks out to Crow­land.

“I am also con­cerned about a fire risk - and on the other side of the road there is a gas sta­tion.

“It is also tak­ing up good qual­ity agri­cul­tural land.

“Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil is not tak­ing its re­spon­si­bil­ity to the coun­try side se­ri­ously enough.”

Andy McBeath ( 63) and wife Sheila ( 66) moved to a house next door to Amer­ica Farm, which would be one of the farms af­fected if the pro­pos­als are given the go ahead, in July last year.

Mr McBeath said: “The first we heard about this was when the farmer at Amer­ica Farm told us.

“We have not re­ceived any phone calls or let­ters from the coun­cil, and we have been rush­ing to gather in­for­ma­tion.

“There will be 45,000 pan­els 11 feet high near our home. In­stead of open agri­cul­tural land, the area will be turned into an in­dus­trial zone.

“We have seen the plans for the screen­ing, to use trees and bushes to block the view from houses around the edge of the farm, but our house will not get any screen­ing.

“We have been to look at a sim­i­lar scheme in Whit­tle­sey, which was much smaller, with smaller pan­els, and fur­ther away from houses.

“If we need to have this en­ergy farm, it could be smaller, with fewer pan­els and smaller pan­els.

“I am cur­rently writ­ing a com­plaint to the plan­ning author­ity and chief ex­ec­u­tive of the coun­cil about the poor con­sul­ta­tion we have had. It has not been good enough.”

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