A DATE has been set for a public inquiry into controversial plans for a wind farm in Huntingdonshire. Energy giant nPower appealed to the Secretary of State against Huntingdonshire District Council s refusal of its application to site eight wind turbines

A DATE has been set for a public inquiry into controversial plans for a wind farm in Huntingdonshire.

Energy giant nPower appealed to the Secretary of State against Huntingdonshire District Council's refusal of its application to site eight wind turbines at Cotton Farm, on land to close to Graveley.

The public inquiry will run from May 18 to June 1 and will be held at two locations: Huntingdonshire District Council's Pathfinder House headquarters and at Wood Green Animal Shelters in Godmanchester.

The Cotton Farm Action Group, run by Bev Gray, from Graveley, is fighting the plans claiming they will have a visual impact, increase noise pollution, destroy the countryside and have a detrimental impact on wildlife. The proposed turbines would be 127m tall - double the height of Ely Cathedral.

The group has since formed an alliance with five neighbouring parish councils and raised more than £50,000 to fight the appeal, employing a QC experienced in similar cases. It has also gathered evidence from industry experts.

Mr Gray said: "We have been more than delighted with the way the determination last year and the fact that all the way along this extraordinary process we have been able to win every battle with unanimous decisions. It gives a very strong message that the local people are firmly against the plans.

"We are not surprised that the developer has appealed, because that is what they do up and down the country, virtually everywhere. When a decision goes against them, they automatically appeal."

He added that the alliance will be asking all supporters to gather at Pathfinder House on May 18 to make their feelings known to the inspector.

Matt Pinfield, principal developer at RWE npower renewables, said: "We are confident that our proposals will stand up to the scrutiny of a public inquiry.

"We believe that Cotton Farm is an excellent site and, if constructed, it would generate enough electricity to meet the annual average needs of thousands of homes each year and reduce emissions of carbon dioxide. As such, we consider that the proposal is worthy of a thorough review."

INFORMATION: The public inquiry will be held at the Civic Suite, Pathfinder House, St Mary's Street, Huntingdon, on May 18, 20, 21 and 25. It will also be held at Wood Green Animal Shelter, Kings Bush Farm, London Road, Godmanchester, on May 19 and June 1.