Northamptonshire could become 'wind farm capital'

Northamptonshire could become the "wind farm capital" of the country, according to a report from the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

It said the Planning Inspectorate's decision to overturn rejected plans would turn the county into the most densely populated wind farm area.

There are currently only two wind farms in operation at Burton Wold and Crick.

The government has approved turbines for Bozeat, Kelmarsh, Boddington and Watford Lodge.

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Appeals are also pending for wind farms at Sudborough, Chelveston, Helmdon, Lilbourne and Winwick.

Brian Skittrall, from Northamptonshire's branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said: "It is likely that all of the appeals will be overturned because of the way the Planning Inspectorate makes its decisions."

However Graham Jordan, from the Pro Wind Alliance (ProWA), said wind power was the best renewable energy source that the UK posessed so far.

"There is only one turbine per 100 sq km (38.6 sq m) in the country and if all of the applications go through, then Northamptonshire will have two turbines per 100 sq km (38.6 sq km), that's hardly a forest," he said.

"The county does not have areas of large conurbation, there are not many areas of natural beauty or of scientific interest as such, it has no airports and has a good road network for access," he said.

The wind farm at Burton Wold produces electricity for 8,500 households a year.

"We have had reports that said turbines are actually increasing carbon emissions because they generate electricity that is unpredictable, highly variable and unreliable," said Mr Skittrall.

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