08/10/12....Farmer denies wind turbine would be seen from Thame -
A local farmer has denied that a proposed wind turbine on his land would be visible from Thame.
County side lobbying group, CPRE Oxfordshire (Campaign for the Protection of Rural England), is objecting to the wind turbine proposed at Rowan Farm, Henton, near Chinnor.
The applicant, Mr John Laming, already has an 'eco' house with rain harvesters and a ground-source heat pump providing underfloor heating, but wants the proposed 15 kv, 20 metre high wind turbine mostly to heat units on his game farm instead of expensive propane gas.
"It's not just the people of Henton who would be affected by the turbine's noise," claims CPRE. "Such a tall structure would be visible from Thame, Haddenham and Chinnor, and a wide swathe of surrounding countryside including from the Chilterns and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our policy on wind turbines is that while we welcome renewable energy, it must not be at the expense of the countryside or its residents, and any wind turbine should be located appropriately."
Mr Laming told ThameNews.Net today: "The nearest house from the turbine is over 600 metres away and because of all the trees around the area, only the top of it will be visible from Henton itself in the winter time. This is not one of the very big turbines that people see around the country on 'wind farms'; it is relatively small and would only emit a low level hum.
"People who say it will be 'unsightly' forget that years ago, many farms had tall wind pumps for water. We drive along motorways these days, passing huge great electricity pylons and hardly notice them any more.
"People need to remember that we import much of our electricity from France which is mainly produced from nuclear power. They want us to be more self-sufficient and to have more 'green' energy but don't want it in their own backyards."
Michael Tyce, Chair of Thame District CPRE, Oxfordshire said: "Oxfordshire, being inland and undulating, lacks the constant prevailing winds to make turbines a viable energy-generating option. However, even though electricity production would not be significant, it may still be profitable to the developer through subsidies we have to pay through our electricity bills.
"If this is approved it would be likely to lead to a rash of applications to erect turbines in this part of the county, given the financial incentives involved."
Mr Laming said: "It has cost us £8,000 just to get this far with the planning application and the actual turbine will cost us around £70,000. The returns through the grid will be minimal and it will be several years before we see a return on our investment. We're not doing this to make money but for good environmental reasons and to become self-sufficient."
Details of the proposed turbine can be found at the following website, and comments can be made until October 19. http://www.southoxon.gov.uk/ccm/support/Main.jsp?MODULE=ApplicationDetails&REF=P12/S2041/FUL
IMAGE: For illustrative purposes only