Earl’s visit prompts wind farm protest

Priors protestors
Priors protestors

PROTESTORS against a wind farm near Priors Marston held up placards during Earl Spencer’s visit to the Priors School on Friday.

The Earl is proposing to build 125-metre tall turbines on land that forms part of his estate between Wormleighton and Priors Hardwick at Stoneton.

The protestors took up places on roads in Priors Marston knowing the Earl would drive past them on his way to the opening ceremony at the school, but chose not to protest on the school site itself.

Christopher Hodgson, chairman of the Priors Hardwick Parish Meeting, said: “Given the high regard which the protesters have for the school, their demonstration was held on the route into the school so as not to interfere with the ceremony itself.

“They were gratified to find that the Earl did not know the way in his Range Rover and was forced to ask the banner holders for directions!

“The Earl is proposing to put massive turbines on his land between Wormleighton and Priors Hardwick in a valley of outstanding beauty, much used by riders, walkers and those who enjoy the Oxford/Rugby canal.

“Particularly badly affected by this proposal are the Darbishire family who farm the adjacent Hill Farm, Priors Hardwick where they run a successful bed and breakfast business.”

Residents have also voiced concern about the possible cumulative impact on the area, as the proposed High Speed Two rail line would pass along the edge of the wind turbine site.

Access to the site would be from a new track connecting to the A423 Banbury-Southam road.

A planning application for nine turbines on the site has been submitted by EDF Energy Renewables to Stratford-on-Avon District Council.

The application was validated in January 2013, with a target date for a decision in May last year. As yet no decision has been made.