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Romney Marsh wind farm to get Government go-ahead against local opposition

October 18, 2005 9:38 AM

Wind turbine farm (windmills).A report in todays Independent claims that Energy minister Malcolm Wicks will tell the British Wind Energy Association conference in Cardiff today that he has given the go-ahead for a large wind farm at a controversial site at Romney Marsh, Kent.

The proposal has been unanimously opposed by every elected authority in the area, including 12 parish councils, two district councils and two county councils.

The Government's target is to produce 10 per cent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2010. To get there, it has placed legal obligations on electricity producers to use renewables to an increasing extent until 2015. Approval for the Romney Marsh wind farm is to be presented as part of the Government's programme to make sure these targets are met.

Lib Dem Parliamentary spokesman Peter Carroll slammed the move:

"I agree with 'green' energy, however, this wind farm is truly enormous. It is too big. Installations like this should be off shore.

"How much more can Romney Marsh take? It has a nuclear power station, a massive wind farm and there is a risk of a regional airport in Lydd expands! All this in an area famed for its tranquility, beauty and natural environment. The go ahead for the wind farm should be the final nail in the coffin of Lydd Airport expansion."

The Romney Marshes in Kent are a haven for birds, a key concern for local residents who campaigned against the development. The 27 turbine wind farm, 1,000 acre wind farm would provide electricity for 75% of homes in the Shepway area providing electricity for nearly 50,000 homes.

Each turbine will be 370 ft tall, with concrete foundations sunk 110 ft into the earth. More than six miles of new roads would be built across the marshland, requiring 50,000 tons of road stone. The height of the wind farms would be the same as a 30-story block of flats.