THE attention of the district’s wind farm opposition was focused on Towcester this week during the opening of a planning inquiry into a project near Helmdon.
On Tuesday Government appointed inspector Elizabeth Fieldhouse officially opened the inquiry at the South Northants Council chamber into proposals for five 125m turbines at Spring Farm Ridge, just off the B4525. The inquiry was called after SNC’s development control committee refused permission for the proposal by Broadview Energy last June.
Around 30 members of the Helmdon, Stuchbury and Greatworth Wind Action Group (HSGWAG) listened to opening remarks made barristers from both sides. They were joined by at least two people from other south Northants villages who are preparing to fight proposals in their own areas.
John Barnes of Paulerpsury Parish Council was at the inquiry while the Tove Action Group oppose pre-planning proposals for upto 16 turbines between the Towcester Racecourse, Shutlanger, Paulerspury, Alderton and Stoke Park.
Mr Barnes said there were many in the district keeping a close eye on the inquiry, adding: “There’s an assumption there is man made climate change and that we can do something about. Therefore government policy is we must have wind turbines.”
Speaking for Broadview, David Hardy told the inquiry that national policy was in favour of wind farms and concluded: “There is nothing so special or out of the ordinary here at Spring Farm Ridge to suggest that the likely significant environmental effects would be unacceptable in the public interest which the planning system is there to preserve.”