Heated debate on Naseby wind farm in House of Lords

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A DECISION to accept a proposal to build a wind farm next to the historic Battle of Naseby site was the subject of a heated debate in the House of Lords.

Lord Naseby put forward a motion to the Lords yesterday, calling for the reversal of a decision by the planning inspector last month to give the go ahead to energy firm E.ON’s plan to build six turbines near the key civil war battle site.

Addressing Baroness Joan Hanham, Minister for Communities and Local Government, Lord Naseby said: “The wind farm has been given permission on the spurious grounds that it will be limited to a 25-year lifespan.

“I urge the secretary of state to think again and call in this decision.”

Baroness Hanham said she would be unable to comment on the decision due to the fact the period which people were allowed to appeal against the Planning Inspectorate’s ruling to the High Court was yet to expire.

Baroness Hanham said: “The planning inspectorate is independent and makes a decision on behalf of the secretary of state.”

But Lord Naseby said opposers of the wind farm did not have the funds to make an appeal to the High Court.

Lord Peter Brooke of Sutton Mandeville also said there needed to be a rethink on the decision and described Naseby as the “birthplace of democracy in England” and a “quintessential piece of the countryside in middle England”.

E.ON said it firmly believed the wind farm “represents the right technology, in the right location to ensure energy security and combat climate change”.

However, the decision to allow the wind farm to be built was labelled “disgraceful” by the area’s MP, Chris Heaton-Harris, and strongly criticised by historians.

Martin Marix Evans, who has written books on Naseby and is trustee of the Battlefields Trust, said: “Hopefully the people in power will take notice of Naseby now it is being mentioned on such a big stage.”

Hundreds of soldiers died in the battle between Parliament’s New Model Army and King Charles I’s Royalist forces at Naseby on June 14, 1645.

The key battle of the civil war is recognised as one of the most important ever to be fought on British soil.

It led to the creation of the modern system of Parliamentary democracy.