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Developers pull the plug on Gores Farm wind turbines

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Developers have pulled the plug on controversial plans to build wind turbines at Gores Farm to the west of the village.

Following government rejection of plans for addition turbines at French Farm to the north of Thorney, it seemed highly unlikely that a larger and more visible wind-farm would stand any chance of approval.

The developers, West Coast Energy, first submitted revised plans reducing the number of turbines to lessen the visible impact and, in particular, on the view of Thorney Abbey. It claimed no wind turbines would be able to be seen from The Green. However, West Coast Energy has clearly seen the writing on the wall and plans have been withdrawn. The wind-farm would have had the capacity to power up to 11,000 homes.

There are still plans on the table for five turbines at Willowhall.

News of the withdrawal will please Thorney Parish council which has urged planners to reject proposals for other wind farms near the village.

Following the rejection of the French Drove wind farm extension, the parish council issued this statement:

“Thorney Parish Council is very pleased that the immense efforts made by local opposition groups, parishioners, City Councillors and Stewart Jackson, have resulted in the Secretary of State refusing permission for the installation of 4x100metre high wind turbines at French Farm, French Drove.

“As they are opposed for many of the same reasons and with equal determination by the local community and their representatives, we trust that the wind farm applications at Gores Farm and the adjacent Willow Hall Farm sites will be similarly rejected, when the City Council determines the outcome of these two applications.”


MP says wind farm decision is victory for community


Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson (pictured) issued this statement following news that the government had rejected plans for additional wind turbines at French Drove.

“I’m really pleased at the decision by HM Planning Inspectorate which vindicated all our efforts.

“It shows that if the community works together with a strong argument and marshals their case well, then a poor and inappropriate application can be defeated by the existing planning system.

“That said, had the Secretary of State not responded to my request to use his powers to Call In the plans, it might have been a very different story.

“I’m not against wind turbines full stop – but they have to be placed in appropriate locations and these were not.

“I’d like to thank all those on the campaign team – especially Don and Julie Turner.”

Stewart Jackson played a critical role in helping block the French Drove wind farm. Plans for four more turbines had been approved by Peterborough City Council when Mr Jackson intervened and persuaded Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in the Conservative/Liberal government, to block the decision and send it to a planning inquiry.

By the time the inquiry had made its recommendations, a new government was in power and onshore wind turbines faced a tougher test to win approval.

Eric Pickles’ successor Greg Clark decided the French Drove plans did not meet that tougher test.

The man who will decide on Thorney wind-farm


This is the man who will decide whether the wind-farm at French Drove gets the go-ahead.

Greg Clark was named today as Minister for Communities and Local Government in the new Conservative administration. He replaces Eric Pickles.

It is up to him to review the report submitted in April by the planning inspector, John Braithwaite, and make a decision whether it can go ahead or not.

REG Windpower wants to build an additional four wind turbines at French Farm, French Drove to the north of Thorney. The company already has permission to build two, but wants a six-turbine wind-farm. Peterborough City Council granted permission in 2014, but after MP Stewart Jackson intervened, the decision was quashed by central government and a planning inquiry set up.

During his last few months in power, Eric Pickles was notable for rejecting a number of planning applications for wind-farms, sometimes against the advice of planning inspectors. A decision on French Farm has been promised by July and Mr Clark is the man who has to decide.

He is seen as being left of centre, born in Middlesbrough and educated at a comprehensive school. His father and grandfather were milkmen working in a family business, while his mother worked at Sainsbury’s.

He read Economics at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he joined the Social Democratic Party. He then studied at the London School of Economics, where he was awarded his PhD in 1992.

Clark first worked as a business consultant before becoming special advisor to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Ian Lang, between 1996 and 1997. Subsequently, he was appointed the BBC’s Controller, Commercial Policy and was Director of Policy for the Conservative Party from 2001 until his election to parliament in 2005 as MP for Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Before today, he was most famous for saying the Conservative party needed to pay less attention to the social thinking of Winston Churchill, and more to that of columnist on The Guardian, Polly Toynbee.

He became Shadow Minister for Charities, Voluntary Bodies and Social Enterprise in 2006 and two years later was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet, shadowing the new government position of Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

In the coalition government formed in 2010, Mr Clark held a number of posts including:

  • Minister of State in the Department for Communities and Local Government
  • Minister for Cities
  • Financial Secretary to the Treasury
  • Minister for Universities, Science and Cities

He and his wife Helen have three children and they live in Royal Tunbridge Wells.