Bullington Cross wind farm consultation in Whitchurch

Daily Echo: Darren Cuming, EDF onshore wind development manager Darren Cuming, EDF onshore wind development manager

MEMBERS of the public had the chance to view plans for a wind farm which could be built near Whitchurch and Basingstoke.

The consultation was held in Whitchurch Parish Hall, London Street, for two days on July 4 and 5, giving people the opportunity to ask questions to representatives from EDF Energy Renewables’ and to find out more about the proposals.

The company wants to build a maximum of 17 turbines at Bullington Cross, near the junction of the A34 and A303.

The turbines would fall within the boundaries of three councils – Winchester City Council, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Test Valley Borough Council.

Plans on display stated that the anticipated electrical output of the turbines could be enough to power around 15,000 homes annually.

However, their lifespan is only up to 25 years, after which time the turbines and associated access tracks would be decommissioned and removed.

Peter Bedford, from Winslade, who is a member of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: “My first thought is why does it have to be so big? Always with something like this you have to weigh up the advantage of renewable energy versus the destruction of the countryside.”

He added: “In my heart, I hate the idea of lovely, rural Hampshire being damaged by wind turbines.”

Darren Cuming, onshore wind development manager for EDF, said: “What we want is for people to come in and see what our proposals are so they can express their opinions and we can take these on board.”

The exhibition, which attracted more than 200 people, also included 3D software for people to see what the wind farm will look like from their home.

Mr Cuming added: “It helps people to understand the impact of the wind farm. People are mainly concerned about the access. We will help to put people’s minds at ease.”

EDF is looking to submit a planning application before the end of the year, with the hope of building the wind farm in 2013.

Not everyone was positive about the plans. Paula Jacobs, 62, from Greenwoods, Whitchurch, said: “I think it’s going to power a new town in Micheldever. Plans for that have been shelved for a long time so it will come about. If you look at the landscape, there’s nothing there, so they will build around the station. I think it’s appalling. There’s no infrastructure.”

Angela Ramsell, 63, from Newbury Street, Whitchurch, said: “I have just come to find out more about it. I’m in favour of renewable energy. It is just the height of the turbines I find a bit disturbing.”

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