Coventry & Warwickshire

Warwickshire wind farm protestors fight second bid

Churchover near Rugby
Image caption Protestors say Churchover is "one of Warwickshire's heritage beauty spots"

Protestors who fought off plans for a wind farm between Rugby and Lutterworth are campaigning against new proposals for the same site.

Renewable energy company RES wants to build four turbines near Churchover and Cotesbach - two years after plans by one of its rivals were rejected.

Campaigners said details of the wind farm were "devastating".

RES said it had listened to local concerns about the previous application before designing its plan.

Two years ago, plans to put nine turbines on the site were submitted by rival company SSE but rejected by Rugby Borough Council.

Lorne Smith, from Against Subsidised Wind Farms Around Rugby (Aswar), said: "Not satisfied with a total rejection by over 90% of locals of an earlier proposal, another company wants to ruin one of Warwickshire's heritage beauty spots of the upper River Swift."

The 2011 application for nine wind turbines near the A5 north of Churchover was rejected by Rugby Borough Council on the grounds it would damage the surrounding environment.

Image caption Protestors have produced graphics to support their objections

The new proposal is to create Swift Wind Farm, with four turbines, in the same area.

Mr Smith described the new proposals as "devastating".

He added: "They want to ruin a conservation village with a listed church that has dominated the meandering Swift Valley, a Warwickshire heritage beauty spot, for over 1,000 years, with industrial turbines five times the height of the church spire."

Government guidelines recommend councils give residents more say on wind farm applications.

Dan Patterson, from RES, said the previous objections made it clear "local people were concerned".

He said: "RES has taken the opportunity to reassess the design and respond to local concerns by reducing the number of turbines and siting them further from housing."

The company said the wind farm could generate enough energy for 6,400 homes.

A formal planning application is expected to be submitted later this year.

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