*** Stop Press ***
The Public Inquiry has been postponed. At the time of writing we do not know when it will be.
The Public Inquiry that will finally decide whether our beautiful landscape is to be desecrated by this outrageous windfarm proposal, and which
was overwhelmingly rejected by SCDC last year, will begin on 22nd July 2008 and is taking place in West Wickham Village Hall.
See below for details of how you can help at this crucial stage.
A Common Sense Victory
On 6th June 2007, the Planning Committee of South Cambridgeshire District Council REJECTED
the Wadlow Wind Farm application.
The Council stated, in their news release:
'The number, height and extent of the turbines would dominate the character and quality of the landscape which can be appreciated by the public from nearby important public rights of way.'
'Councillor Philippa Corney, chairman of the Planning Committee said, "SCDC is fully supportive of renewable energy initiatives in South
Cambridgeshire. However the scale of this application was not appropriate for this particular location. The benefits accruing from
this proposal are outweighed by the substantial harm it could cause. SCDC would be disappointed but not surprised if the applicant
decided to appeal but is prepared to present a comprehensive submission to the appeals inspector on request."
Here We Go Again
Yet another wind farm is being planned for South Cambridgeshire.
Proposals were unveiled in June 2007 for a wind farm near Linton.
Enertrag, a German wind farm developer, is proposing to build an eight turbine wind farm on the ridge between Linton,
The Abingtons, Great Chesterford and Hadstock.
The scheme is at an early stage and the formal planning application is not expected until this autumn.
Each turbine will be 125/130m high, the tallest yet to be built in England.
The Stop Linton Wind Farm Action Group has been formed to fight
this proposal. Please give them all the help and support they need.
SCDC Site Visit 4th JUNE 2007
SCDC District Councillors undertook a site visit so that they could understand the terrible impact that this proposal
would have on the local landscape.
RES Ltd were asked by the District Council to fly 2 blimps (one at the height of the turbines' hub and one at the
height of the blade tip) to help people to understand how the turbines will damage the environment.
As part of the public consultation carried out by SCDC, the following 2 documents were submitted by us and on our behalf:
SWWF - Formal Objection
TLP - Formal Objection
In October 2006 SCDC raised issues resulting from the public consultation with RES. RES responded in
RES Response to SCDC, Nov 06
In December we submitted to SCDC our reply to the RES response:
SWWF reply to SCDC, Dec 06
The world is finding out that wind is a worthless technology that we're subsiding.
During the second half of 2006, the press has been awash with stories about the shortcomings of
wind turbines and wind farms, not least because the
Renewable Energy Foundation itself used official Ofgem statistics to uncover
just how little worthwhile power is produced by Britain's almost-2000 turbines.
As Christopher Booker
pointed out in the Sunday Telegraph
for 17th December 2006: "These confirm that not a single turbine in mainland Britain would be economically viable
without the vast hidden subsidy we all pay through our electricity bills, in effect doubling its cost."
The REF survey points out that
the most uselessly inefficient turbine in the UK is one serving the headquarters of a company in Kings Langley,
Herts - and surprise, it's Renewable Energy Systems, the big business behind the Wadlow Farm power station proposal!
Whereas most turbines manage to generate power at a measly 28 per cent of capacity, the Renewable Energy Systems
turbine comes in last at a hopeless 8%. Says Booker:
"The real message of the REF reports is first, that wind is so unreliable that we would have
to build up to a dozen conventional power stations just to provide backup for all the intended turbines
when the wind is not blowing; and second, that the more we depend on the unpredictable wind, the more
this will destabilise the grid, threatening its breakdown."
Stop Wadlow Wind Farm
In 2006 Renewable Energy Systems Ltd submitted a planning application,
to South Cambs. District Council to build a wind farm at Wadlow Farm in South Cambridgeshire.
It would consist of thirteen 120 metre - 393 ft - high wind turbines.
This is near the A11, sited in close proximity seo-hosting.org.uk to the villages of Balsham, West Wratting,
Six Mile Bottom, Great Wilbraham, Brinkley and Fulbourn.
Parts of Balsham will be less than 1.5km from the closest turbines, and parts of
West Wratting and Six Mile Bottom are less than 2km.
The aim of Stop Wadlow Wind Farm is to oppose the construction of a wind farm at this location.
There are many reasons why local residents should be very concerned.
In June 2007 South Cambs. District Council voted 10-2 to reject the wind farm proposal. RES then appealed, and there is now to be a Public Inquiry
to determine the final outcome.
The Inquiry is taking place in West Wickham Village Hall.
This choice of venue is great news as it makes it much easier for local people to attend.
The Inquiry will commence on Tuesday 22nd July 2008 and will sit during Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday that week. The following week it will sit from Monday through to Thursday.
We remain completely opposed to this outrageous planning application and will be making a robust and rigorous case
for the appeal to be turned down.
Site visit: The day before the Inquiry, Monday 21st July, the Inspector will travel around the area, viewing the site from a number of locations.
To make it easier for him to appreciate the impact a blimp will be flown.
We have ordered some more of our campaign boards and plan to ensure that lots of them are highly visible to him during this period.
He will tour the area again at the end of the Inquiry.
Please contact us if you would like another one.
The main participants in the Inquiry will be RES and SCDC.
Our campaign will be represented by:
- John Pugh-Smith – our barrister
- Jonathan Billingsley – landscape specialist from The Landscape Partnership (specialising in impact on the landscape)
- Dr John Constable – Policy & Research Director of the Renewable Energy Foundation (specialising in the method of calculation used by RES to determine the amount of power to be produced by the proposed wind farm).
We feel sure that many of you will wish to participate in the Inquiry to ensure that your opinions are heard by the Inspector.
He has arranged to take representations from members of the public during the afternoon of Tuesday 29th July.
The Inspector is keen to hear from people who use and appreciate the area in a variety of different ways e.g. walkers, visitors to the area, dog walkers, horse riders etc.
So if you have a specific interest or perspective this is your chance to make sure that it gets acknowledged.
Our barrister has recommended that we should co-ordinate our representations through him to avoid too much duplication and repetition.
He will also field any questions that might be put to us by RES’s advocate.
To enable us to make best use of the limited time available it would be most helpful if you could contact us:
- if you intend to speak at the Inquiry;
- if you would like to speak under the banner of Stop Wadlow Wind Farm and through John Pugh-Smith;
- the main issues / concerns that you intend to raise.
Please contact us by 8th June in order that our legal team can review the evidence at our next team meeting.
Funding: A big thank you to those of you who have already committed to support us financially.
We are making excellent progress but please keep the money coming in.
So, to continue to support our campaign, please:
Increase our Membership
Grow Our Fighting Fund
Keep us in the Headlines
Live in Balsham?
So You Don't Think You'll Hear Them?
Parish Councils Reject Windfarm
Join The Campaign
Boxworth Wind Farm Rejected
How Windfarms Can Destroy a Community
It is crucial that we have a substantial membership so that what we say as a
group carries weight and credibility with the various decision making
bodies. This will become even more critical should RES go to appeal and we
are faced with a Public Enquiry. Please encourage all adult members of your
household and any friends and visitors to become members of our campaign. They don't
have to live locally. Our precious countryside is enjoyed by many who come
to the area to walk, ride, shoot or just visit with friends. It is now
easier than ever to join online, right now!
If RES appeal, we will require considerable funds as we will need to employ
a specialist barrister to represent our group at the hearing which is likely
to run over 3 weeks. We estimate that we will need around £40,000 (based on
the costs incurred by the campaign group at Boxworth). We have received over
£5,000 in cash donations to date plus in excess of £20,000 in services
provided free to our group by our members, including paying for the report
by the Landscape Partnership which was submitted by us to SCDC, and the
printing of newsletters etc. Maybe you feel that you can't contribute much
but please be assured that every donation counts whether it's £1,000
from a wealthy landowner or £5 from a local pensioner. It is now easier than
ever to make a donation online using our Paypal facility or send a cheque to
the Secretary, made payable to Stop Wadlow Wind Farm at 27 Six Mile Bottom
Road, West Wratting, Cambs CB21 5NE. You might even consider becoming one of
our regular donors - people who have set up a donation of a small
amount each month as they can afford to. Just click here to set up a regular donation:
Our small Committee is not able to monitor every local paper, parish
newsletter and community group publication. So if you see letters or
articles being published in favour of wind farms please take the initiative
and write letters countering their arguments. And do let us know when
you get something published by sending a copy to the Secretary. You could
also write to your MP. Also please let us know of any good articles that you see
which you feel add weight to our argument.
In case you thought Wadlow Wind Farm was a problem for West Wratting, not Balsham, take note: most of
Balsham village is closer to the proposed turbines than any houses in the main part of West Wratting village.
There are houses in Balsham that will be less than a mile from one of these giant - almost 400 ft - wind turbines.
Wadlow Farm may be in West Wratting Parish, but this proposed windfarm could affect you at least as much.
If in doubt check out the map.
On 17/7/2006 Balsham Parish Council voted unanimously against (6-0) the windfarm.
These turbines would be significantly taller than anything else in the area to the best of
our knowledge - almost 400 feet to the tip of the blade.
I.e., amongst the biggest wind turbines proposed for anywhere in the UK.
And, to make it worse, they will be on locally high ground, making them even more prominent.
They would be visible more than 30 miles away.
Happy for this to built on your doorstep?
If not, help now.
We doubt it.
Some residents who already live close to other wind farms liken the noise to that of an endless train, or a constant distant pile driving.
Do you want to live with what could be a constant noise nuisance, day and night?
If not, help now.
In the early hours of Monday July 12th 2006, under cover of darkness, a van crewed by at least 2 men coasted silently through
West Wratting. They stole every single 'Stop Wadlow Wind Farm' sign they could find, trespassing on private
property and causing criminal damage in the process. More...
The local Parish Councils met during summer 2006 to discuss & vote on the windfarm.
All the councils that voted on this rejected it, and most by a unanimous vote:
|Balsham PC|| Against 6-0|
|Brinkley PC|| Against 4-1|
|Carlton PC|| Against 4-2|
|Gt Wilbraham PC|| Against 6-0|
|Lt Wilbraham PC|| Against 4-2|
|West Wickham PC|| Against 4-1|
|West Wratting PC|| Against 7-0|
|Weston Colville PC|| Against 6-0|
Opposition to this outrageous proposal is growing rapidly and we need more volunteers for this important fight.
Would you like to help?
Join us now and help protect our countryside.
The proposed wind farm at Boxworth (just the other side of Cambridge) was rejected by the Planning Inspector.
The main reason he gave for his decision gives us greater confidence that we have powerful arguments for demanding
the same decision regarding Wadlow Farm. His report states that "the scheme
would have a harmful effect on the character and appearance of the area,
including a harmful effect on aspects of the historic landscape and visual amenity".
He also concluded that the development would have a detrimental impact on road safety on the A14.
For further information click here.
"It is time we all realised that the only real beneficiaries from windfarms
are the commercial organisations that build them, and the few politicians
seeking to make unsound environmental gestures to be seen to be doing
"The losers are the energy consumers who fund the subsidies, local residents
and local businesses, the elderly, the young and the lowly paid, tourists
and ramblers, plus the bird and animal habitat and life that is destroyed."
Professor David Bellamy, celebrated environmentalist, conservationist and
author - extract from a letter to the Sunday Telegraph, May 28th 2006.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is running
a national campaign to protect tranquillity.
"Tranquillity is important for everyone - for our hearts, minds and bodies.
We all need to 'get away from it all; every now and then.
Tranquil areas provide a means of doing this in a crowded, heavily built-up country.
Being largely natural and free from intrusive manmade noise and structures, tranquil areas in the countryside allow
us to escape the noise and stress of cities, towns and suburbs, to be inspired and to get refreshed.
It has become harder to experience tranquillity over the past few decades - and may get harder still.
Tranquillity is threatened by the steadily increasing urbanised area, the development of the road network,
the growth in road and air traffic and the expansion of energy infrastructure."
The CPRE, Cambridge and South Cambs Group, at a meeting on 13/3/2006, agreed to oppose
the proposed Wadlow Wind Farm on the grounds that it would represent a disfigurement of an ancient landscape given that
an ancient monument, Fleam Dyke, runs along the site.
James Paice MP has announced the results of his survey of local residents views on the windfarm.
He found 43% in favour and 53% opposed. Within West Wratting, of those who completed the survey 75% are opposed.
For the full press release click here.
Is this the kind of thing you want to see in the gently rolling South Cambridgeshire countryside?
No, we don't either.