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Wind farm plan divides opinion

The company behind plans to build a wind farm at Podington has challenged the result of a public consultation. Bedford Borough Council has just finished asking residents about the proposal at Airfield Farm, and received just 216 comments in support compared with 441 objecting. But energy firm Nuon Renewables has released a report of its own, claiming a majority of local residents - 66.5 per cent - support the bid to create a three-turbine wind farm at Airfield Farm.

The company behind plans to build a wind farm at Podington has challenged the result of a public consultation.

Bedford Borough Council has just finished asking residents about the proposal at Airfield Farm, and received just 216 comments in support compared with 441 objecting.

But energy firm Nuon Renewables has released a report of its own, claiming a majority of local residents - 66.5 per cent - support the bid to create a three-turbine wind farm at Airfield Farm.

Coun Nick Charsley (Lib Dem, Harrold) whose ward covers Podington, said: "I think of the vehemently opposed and the vehemently supportive it is fairly even.

"Of the middle ground I would probably estimate three-quarters opposed the original application.

"In some respects I would have said the borough council, which is not actively going out and asking the questions but receiving information, would probably be more accurate.

"I'd say the majority of people are a bit sceptical, but both outcomes are possible if you ask the right questions."

Nuon Renewables is calling on Town Hall planning bosses to take note of its report, and not let their final planning decision be "hijacked by a vociferous minority".

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The company behind plans to build a wind farm at Podington has challenged the result of a public consultation.

Bedford Borough Council has just finished asking residents about the proposal at Airfield Farm, and received just 216 comments in support compared with 441 objecting.

But energy firm Nuon Renewables has released a report of its own, claiming a majority of local residents - 66.5 per cent - support the bid to create a three-turbine wind farm at Airfield Farm.

Coun Nick Charsley (Lib Dem, Harrold) whose ward covers Podington, said: "I think of the vehemently opposed and the vehemently supportive it is fairly even.

"Of the middle ground I would probably estimate three-quarters opposed the original application.

"In some respects I would have said the borough council, which is not actively going out and asking the questions but receiving information, would probably be more accurate.

"I'd say the majority of people are a bit sceptical, but both outcomes are possible if you ask the right questions."

Nuon Renewables is calling on Town Hall planning bosses to take note of its report, and not let their final planning decision be "hijacked by a vociferous minority".

Will Wason, the firm's project manager, said: "Prior to the submission of our revised application we distributed over 6,600 community update leaflets to local residents, which included a freepost comment form.

"343 residents felt compelled to return the form, with an overwhelming majority of 66.5% of local respondents supporting the proposal at Airfield Farm.

"This response sends a strong message to the parish councils and the planning committee, showing that the majority of local residents support the wind farm."

He added: "The wind farm debate is too often dominated and hijacked by a vociferous minority and I am extremely pleased that there is overwhelming local support for the Airfield Wind Farm proposal, a clean energy project that will make a valuable contribution to tackling the threat posed by accelerated climate change, as well as reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels".

Nuon Renewables recently took 34 local residents who expressed an interest in the Podington wind farm planning application to view a similar facility at Burton Latimer in Northamptonshire.

According to the energy giant, feedback from the visit was extremely positive - with some residents who were unsure about the proposals asking to be added to the company's list of supporters.


Source: http://www.bedfordtoday.co....

DEC 4 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/18179-wind-farm-plan-divides-opinion
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