Farmer dismisses fears about wind turbine scheme

Jeremy Elgin, a farmer from Ford at the site of his proposed wind turbine
Jeremy Elgin, a farmer from Ford at the site of his proposed wind turbine

The man behind £2 million plans for a wind turbine bigger than Big Ben in a field near Aylesbury has dismissed fears of NIMBY’s scared of change.

Jeremy Elgin has submitted a planning application to put up a huge 101m turbine on his land on the edge of Ford, which he says will be able to power 350 homes.

But campaigners, Ford Action Group Against Turbines, are opposing the plans and the parish council has voiced its own fears.

Concerns include damage to natural beauty and noise pollution. But Mr Elgin challenged anyone to find a more remote spot in Bucks, and pointed to the fact his proposed turbine is dwarfed by others, such as one to be built at Quarrendon.

As with many new ideas, Mr Elgin believes it is ‘fear of the unknown’ driving many worries, and suspects these will blow over once people get used to the idea.

He said: “There’s a lot of misinformation that has been put around. About the noise, for example. The old turbines were noisy but, like with many cars, they’ve engineered it out.

“People won’t believe it until they see it and have been wound up by everybody else. We had a similar reaction when people put up phone masts. I think this will go the same way but it’s going to take a bit of time.”

Other accusations levelled at Mr Elgin’s plan include that he is in it for the money and that the turbine is in the wrong location to work.

But with costs expected to run close to £2 million, Mr Elgin does expect to make a profit, saying: “But I don’t expect it to make me a millionaire.”

He said: “We will not get paid anything if it doesn’t work. There’s no point of me going to all this hassle if it’s not going to blow.”

A firm believer in the need to find alternate energy sources, Mr Elgin says we are at the ‘crunch point’ of climate change.

He said: “We are in an extremely serious situation

“We are the windiest place in Europe, we ought to be using it. The downside is people can see it. Well, you can see power stations.”

The UK has a legally binding target of 15% of total energy from renewable sources by 2020. In 2011, onshore wind contributed 3% of the UK electricity supply.

> The Bucks Herald wishes to make it clear that Mr Elgin does expect to make a small profit from the scheme.