Farmer planning to build two wind turbines has hit back at objectors

PUBLISHED: 15:12 20 January 2015 | UPDATED: 16:59 20 January 2015

An artist's impression of the turbines from a footpath near the application site.

An artist's impression of the turbines from a footpath near the application site.

Archant

A farmer who has applied for permission to erect two wind turbines in Stretham has hit back at claims made by objectors.

Chris Attle rebutted suggestions that house prices in the village would drop by up to 20 per cent and said that research into the health impacts of turbines quoted by objectors had been “roundly dismissed” by scientists.

In his seven-page response, agents acting for Mr Attle said: “House prices are an emotive subject, several objectors quoted that house prices would reduce by ‘between 5 and 20 per cent’ but without providing any evidence to back this claim up.

“Research has, actually, shown that house prices are unaffected, although numbers

Of sales might be expected to fall during the application period – similarly with

any major, undecided, planning decision.”

Mr Attle has applied to East Cambridgeshire District Council for permission to erect two 75metre high turbines on Red Hill Farm, in Cambridge Road, an arable and beef farm.

The blades of the two turbines will stretch more than 50m in diameter and, at maximum capacity, the turbines will be capable of generating enough power for hundreds of homes.

The district council has received dozens of objections to the proposal and a campaign group, Stop Stretham Wind Farm, has been active in opposing the plans.

Objectors say the turbines will have serious impacts on health, will devalue homes, are too close to the village and will have a harmful impact on wildlife.

But Mr Attle strongly denies many of the claims levelled at the turbines, including claims that they will decimate bird and bat populations.

Agents acting for Mr Attle said: “The applicant has gone to great efforts to ensure

that the local bird and bat population will not be affected.

Several bird studies have been undertaken and the results of bat surveys are what have

prompted the turbine positions to be moved to a different area of the farm.”

The plans are due for consideration by the district council’s planning committee in June.

A spokesman for the Stop Stretham Wind Farm Group said: “The new document tellingly makes no mention of most of our key objections, including the planning balance, the harm to the landscape and the heritage assets, the proximity to the Lazy Otter meadows, the airfield 600m away and the conflict with the planning regulations.

“The agent suggests that it is the responsibility of our group to make contact with them, but they have not made an appearance at any of our open meetings to hear our views or to explain their plans. I would like to extend an open invitation to anyone, including the Red hill Farm applicant to come to one of our meetings.”

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