14 Oct 2008 05:10:47
'Positive' wind farm expansion supported
Plans to expand a wind farm in Cambridgeshire have not met with the opposition sometimes other projects have encountered.
The Coldham Farm project east of Peterborough, an array of eight turbines on 1,500 acres, has plans for expansion by adding seven more two megawatt turbines.
Currently the farm's eight turbines generate 37 million kilowatt hours a year, the energy needed to power 10,000 homes and plans to add seven devices have not raised any local objections, reports the Guardian.
The original application in 2003 was approved, though some residents objected to its proximity to the village.
A willingness by the Co-operative Group and partner Scottish Power to re-locate the wind farm has ensured good relations with the community, as has the construction of an education centre.
Rob Ellis, head of sustainable development at the group, told the newspaper: "The Co-operative works closely with the community on any development project it is involved with. We wanted to build a wind farm which had a positive impact on the local landscape, environment and community.
"We held monthly meetings during site construction and invited local people to see it. We also agreed with Fenland Council, at the planning stage for Coldham, that a sum of money should be set aside for education."
Recent studies should also help calm objections to further wind turbines, as they suggest the devices do not have as heavy an impact on wildlife as was first thought.
Scientists at Newcastle University discovered that the presence of wind turbines did not drive birds away. Of 33 species they studied, only pheasants seemed to be affected.http://www.guardian.co.uk/vestas/coldham.wind.farm