Wind farm scheme rejected

CAMPAIGNERS who fought to stop a wind farm being built near an historic mansion and gardens are celebrating after the plans were thrown out.

Members of the Stop Kelmarsh Wind Farm action group reacted with joy after Daventry District Council’s planning committee threw out energy firm Eon’s plans for a seven-turbine wind farm between Kelmarsh, Haselbech and Maidwell at their meeting last Wednesday (December 15).

However, the ordeal may not be at an end for campaigners, as Eon refused to rule out appealing against the district council’s decision, saying they were ‘considering their options’.

Derryn Rolfe, chairman of Stop Kelmarsh Wind Farm, said: “We’re absolutely delighted, and relieved.

“The Stop Kelmarsh Windfarm group had been working for over three years to defeat the scheme, which would have blighted both the historic landscape and the lives of local residents.”

Mr Rolfe said the scheme submitted by the German-owned Eon had attracted more than 1,000 letters of objection, some of them historians concerned about the impact of the turbines on the Grade I listed Kelmarsh Hall and the Grade 2* park and gardens, as well as the Naseby battlefield. English Heritage had objected strongly to the plans because of the proximity of Kelmarsh Hall.

Other objections from residents included concerns over noise and the effect on their homes.

Each of the seven turbines would have been about 125 metres tall from the ground to the tip of the blades.

Mark Swinfen, whose family farms the land on which the turbines would have been built, said: “The effect on our farm would have been far beyond the simple loss of the affected acres – it would have made it impossible to use a large amount of good arable land.”

District council planners rejected the plans because they felt there would be an ‘unacceptable impact’ on Kelmarsh Hall.

Rebecca Mara, spokesman for Eon, said: “Naturally, we are very disappointed with the decision.

“We still believe it is a great location for a wind farm and we will be considering our options.

“It is too early to say what our plans are at this stage.”

Eon has six months in which it can appeal against the refusal.