A CROXDEN farmer has stipulated he is not planning to build a wind turbine on his land.
John Kent, of Abbey View Farm, has said he has been treated with hostility after it was thought he was planning to build a wind turbine when he submitted a screening opinion to East Staffordshire Borough Council but no planning application was actually submitted as previously reported in The Advertiser.
Mr Kent’s family have farmed at Croxden for nearly 100 years and around the Uttoxeter area for over 250 years.
He said he asked the council its opinion on whether part of his farm land, which is of high elevation circa 600 feet (asl), could be used to help the Government in its initiative regarding green renewable energy to try to reduce the countries dependency on fossil fuels, which is having a significant impact on the climate in the generating of electricity.
The farmer said: “The council’s answer was very favourable and I was given the impression that there would be no problems in installing a small to medium scale wind turbine similar to the Notthill turbine currently in operation within the Croxden parish which seemed to go through the planning stage with no opposition and was supported by many local people.”
Mr Kent said as a result of this, he did not expect the ‘extreme adverse reaction’ to his ideas to try to do a little bit for the environment and provide future income for the farm.
However, after two meetings called by a local action group Mr Kent said it seemed that the vast majority of the communities of Croxden and Hollington actually did not share those ideas.
He told the Advertiser he cares very much about the environment and the valley of Croxden and the Abbey which there was never any intention to harm.
Mr Kent reiterates that at no time has a formal planning application been submitted to the borough council.
He said there was only ever a preliminary screening to see if the idea was suitable to the sensitive area of Croxden.
As a result of a misunderstanding of this screening process, Mr Kent and his family say they have been ostracized by some of the community and have had no right of reply to articles printed in various newspapers and online forums.
Mr Kent said: “At no point did I want to force a wind turbine on the community that I have grown up in and my family have contributed to for generations.
“After numerous threatening letters and phone calls and an article in a main stream North Midlands newspaper which brought my good character into question, I have decided not to pursue his ideas of renewable energy on the farm.
“On a sad note I feel that the hostility towards renewable energy around the country will force future governments to go down the nuclear power route to make up the shortfall on generating capacity due to decommissioning of the old coal fired power stations over the next few years. Consequently we will all be faced with the dangers associated with dealing with toxic waste, increased energy bills and ultimately a potentially devastating impact on the environment.
“Only our children’s children will be able to tell us if renewable or nuclear was the way forward in this energy crisis.” The Kent family, especially Irene Kent (senior) who also lives at Abbey View Farm Cottage, added they would like to take this opportunity to thank the Uttoxeter police and friends for their support during this very difficult and distressing time.