Battle site wind farm plans are thrown out

Martin Marix Evans (left) and Mike Westaway on the new Fairfax Platform on the Battle of Naseby English civil war battlefield site. June 2007. Submitted picture
Martin Marix Evans (left) and Mike Westaway on the new Fairfax Platform on the Battle of Naseby English civil war battlefield site. June 2007. Submitted picture

PLANS to build a wind farm next to one of Britain’s most historic battlefields have been refused by its district council, sparking celebration from campaigners who fought for three years to defeat the application.

Daventry District councillors voted to refuse plans submitted by electricity firm E.ON to build several wind turbines close to the Battle of Naseby site on Wednesday night, after planning officers recommended it should be rejected.

Numerous bodies voiced serious concerns or objected to the plans including: English Heritage, the Environment Agency and the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Derryn Rolfe, chairman of the Stop Kelmarsh Windfarm action group said she was “absolutely delighted and relieved” about the decision.

Other residents have also celebrated the news. Mark Swinfen, whose family farms the land on which the turbines would have been built, said: “We are extremely grateful to the chairman and all the committee members for refusing this application.

“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.”

Richard Westall, whose family farmed some of the estate land, said: “It seems ridiculous that the Kelmarsh Trust should even consider the proposal, given that its founder, Colonel Lancaster, set up the Trust to preserve the Kelmarsh Estate as a quintessential example of an English sporting estate.”

E.ON’s plans would have seen seven turbines built on land to the north of Haselbech. Five of them would have been 414ft tall, while the two others would be 397ft. E.ON said the turbines would be on the site for 25 years, producing enough electricity to power between 7,051 and 10,503 homes each year, preventing the release of between 15,161 and 21,226 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

E.On now has six months in which it can appeal the decision.

E.ON spokeswoman Rebecca Mara said: “We are really disappointed. We still believe it’s a great location for a wind farm and we will be reviewing our options.”