Hunts wind farm given green light on appeal

AN eight-turbine wind farm on the site of the former airfield at Graveley has been given the go-ahead by a planning inspector.

The developer, RWE npower renewables, which had appealed a decision by Huntingdonshire District Council to refuse planning permission for the project, was delighted by the decision, which followed a public inquiry in May.

The Cotton Farm Action Group, which has campaigned against the scheme since long before the planning application was lodged, is considering seeking judicial review of the inspector’s decision.

A spokesman said: “The Cotton Farm Action Group is shocked and horrified by this decision – as are many local people who have e-mailed us to express their anger.

“The fight is not over. The action group is now considering its options and taking legal advice on a possible judicial review. We have requested an urgent meeting with Huntingdonshire District Council.

Group chairman Bev Gray said he was angry that the Government’s policy of localism had been ignored by the inspector.

“How is it that, when five parish councils and two district council planning committees vote unanimously against a wind farm proposal, this is completely ignored? he asked.

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“The Government is stressing the importance of delegation of power to local people, so we are amazed that this has carried absolutely no weight with the planning inspector.”

For the promoters, Melissa Read, planning specialist for RWE npower renewables, said today (Friday): “We are delighted with the decision, which the Inspector made after hearing nearly three weeks of evidence during the public inquiry.

“Wind farms are essential to cutting UK carbon emissions and, once constructed, Cotton Wind Farm will make a substantial contribution towards renewable electricity generation – powering the equivalent of around 6,900 and 10,000 homes with clean energy.

“We will of course continue to work with the local community to keep them informed throughout the next stages of development and as the wind farm is constructed,” she promised.