Wind turbines: the worst case

A WIND farm planned for Bradwell could be seen from virtually every village in the Dengie Peninsula – and for miles beyond.

The turbines may even be visible from further away than Colchester, Braintree, Chelmsford and Southend.

A diagram included with documents provided to Maldon District Council by applicants Npower Renewables sows the tip of the huge structures would be seen from more than 20 miles in any direction.

But it does not take into account vegetation and other structures which may impair the view.

Npower Renewables spokesman, Michael Pullan, said because of the way it was created, the diagram was “an unrealistic, worst case image”.

The planning application asks for permission to install ten three-bladed turbines at Hockley Farm, Hockley Lane.

If given the go-ahead, a sub-station, anemometer mast, electrical equipment compound and a temporary construction compound would also be constructed.

The turbines, which have a “design life” of 20 to 25 years, would produce enough electricity for up to 10,600 homes.

Mark Jackson, development control officer at the council, said the turbines would be the biggest that can be safely designed, installed and maintained.

He said the wind farm application is one of the larges officers have dealt with in years.

Former chief planning officer Clive Tokley has been recruited to sift through the mountains of paperwork required.

Officers from other council departments are also involved.

Mr Jackson said: “I cannot remember an application this big. Very few are submitted with an environmental impact assessment.”

It is expected that Mr Tokley may spend up to 70 hours working on the case, while a similar figure could be clocked up by district council officers.

Mr Jackson said the total cost of dealing with the case would not be known until councillors have made their final decision but it would be a “considerable expense to the council”.

The application is likely to be considered by the council’s south east area planning committee on June 12, and then by a special planning and licensing committee in July.

The 16-week deadline for making a decision on the case is in August.

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