On April 28 2009, the local MP for South East Cambridgeshire, Jim Paice, wrote to South Cambridgeshire District Council to formally object to the application to build 8 wind turbines in Linton.
Letter received from James Paice MP Ap 29 2009
Thank you for writing to me about the planning application for a wind farm at Linton. As you are probably aware this has been expected for some time. You are probably also aware that the application for another wind farm at Wadlow Farm, which was rejected by South Cambridgeshire District Council is due to go to appeal decided by public inquiry starting on June 9th for two weeks. I had thought that the Linton application was awaiting the outcome of that appeal. In any event I do not believe it should be considered until the outcome of the appeal is known.
I do believe that wind farms have a part to play in meeting the target for renewable power of 15% by 2020 although I fully recognise that because of the variability of wind they can never provide ‘base load’. Where I strongly disagree with the government’s policy is the almost total reliance on wind power which has left other renewable technologies with inadequate support and capacity. There is considerable potential for photo-voltaic, solar, tidal, wave, biomass and anaerobic digestion as well as energy from waste yet in most cases little is being done to develop them. That needs to be corrected before we continue to commit more resources to wind power.
Nevertheless this application has to be resolved. I take the view that for any such wind farm its intrusion onto the landscape must be at a minimum, its potential for distraction for road users must also be minimised. Then there are issues to do with the impact on archaeology and any special areas of conservation which certainly does apply here and finally of course the impact on people’s homes and lives. Inevitably any wind farm will have some or all of these impacts and it is the role of the planning authority to consider all of them against the potential benefits and our need for more renewable energy. It cannot however refuse an application simply because it may disagree with government policy.
When the idea was originally made public I received a considerable amount of correspondence from both points of view however since the application was made almost all the correspondence has been against. There is no doubt in my mind that the issues of landscape, road safety and impact on peoples’ homes are very considerable. I have always been concerned that planning guidelines in Scotland recommends a turbine to be at least 2 kilometres from any house yet no such rules apply in England though I believe they should. I am also very disappointed that the developers have refused to attend any public meeting since they submitted the application. I invited the chief executive to attend such a meeting under my chairmanship in order that we could hear their answers to these questions. Regrettably he saw fit to answer that he believed “a public BUN FIGHT is totally inappropriate”. I have since suggested to him that his refusal means he is losing the argument by default. He has not as yet replied.
I have therefore concluded that with all the obvious negative aspects of this particular site and in the absence of any clear positive argument for it that the application should be refused and I am setting out that opposition to the planning authority.
I am grateful to you for writing.
James Paice MP