Campaigners welcome revision to Polegate windfarm plan

Shepham Wind Farm proposal
Shepham Wind Farm proposal

A new improved plan for a windfarm in Polegate has been welcomed by campaigners.

Galliford Try Renewables has come up with what is being hailed a more acceptable plan for the Shepham Wind Farm near Polegate and will soon ask Wealden District Council for planning permission to build it.

The Yes To Polegate Wind Farm group, a grass-roots association of local residents, has welcomed the application for three wind turbines on the site as opposed to original plans for five.

Westham resident Andy Durling said, “The application is for fewer, shorter turbines with less impact upon local residents and far less visual impact upon the landscape and local heritage.

“GTR has clearly listened to local concerns and to feedback from the local planning department and have done their best to meet those concerns.

“Yes to Polegate Wind Farm believes the benefits of the scheme in helping us deal with the energy and climate crises far outweigh whatever adverse local impacts that some people perceive will occur.”

Karen Stewart, a spokesperson for the group, said, “We realise how important clean, green, renewable British energy is for keeping the lights on and getting us off dependence upon increasingly expensive gas. Schemes like this also help us move away from other fossil fuels such as oil and coal, which are primarily responsible for the increasingly damaging effects of global warming upon our climate and weather patterns.

“We are convinced, from our campaigning experience, that the majority of local residents, like the majority of the British public in poll after poll, are in favour of wind power projects such as this one.”

GTR says the proposal has undergone significant changes in order to address Wealden District Council’s concerns regarding the original application.

The new scheme is for three turbines of 377 feet in height while the original proposal was for five turbines of 414 feet.

Tom Porter, the project developer for GTR, said, “The new three turbine scheme takes account of the concerns raised by WDC and the South Downs National Park for the original application, and looks to overcome these by reducing the project in size and scale. We have listened closely to the comments and advice provided and we hope the amended scheme is more acceptable to the local authority and the community.”

“Even though two turbines have been removed, the wind farm still has the potential to generate a significant amount of green electricity every year - over 19,700MWh; this is the equivalent annual electricity needs of over 4,000 homes, and would have the effect of reducing up to 8,475 tonnes of carbon each year.

“As well as producing clean electricity, reducing Co2 emissions and providing energy security, the wind farm could bring a number of benefits to the local community, including employment and opportunities for local businesses.”