Hayes wants to see wind farms benefits

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ENERGY minister John Hayes is calling for evidence on the benefit to communities of onshore wind farms.

Findings could have implications on Peterborough City Council’s plans to put renewable energy parks on 3,000 acres of farmland it owns.

Mr Hayes announced the move after meeting tenant farmers in the Crowland area who are fighting the plans.

The MP for South Holland and The Deepings said he had also called for new information on whether developing onshore renewable energy is cost effective.

A fierce critic of wind farms and solar parks in the past, on taking his new post in the Cabinet, he vowed to “look at matters very closely”.

He said: “In just a short time I am working with my colleagues to develop fresh thinking.”

Last Monday, in his role as MP as well as energy minister, he met tenant farmer Jackie Dugdale, of Newborough Landscape Protection Group.

Mrs Dugdale, of Lower Willow Farm, said: “What a lovely man

“Naturally, Mr Hayes couldn’t just come out and support us because of his new role, but he was very impressed with what we had done so far on limited resources.

“He said we were doing everything we needed to do to get our point across and we felt a lot happier afterwards.

”This is such a big thing we are taking on.”

The group met with 60 people from the area that evening in the village vall to discuss their campaign.

Mrs Dugdale said: “It was very positive. There were a lot of new faces and offers of help.”

Newborough Young Farmers also gave the group a cheque for £100 to spend on posters and banners.

Members hope to attend the meeting of Newborough Parish Council on Monday, October 15, which is to be addressed by the city council’s cabinet leader Marco Cereste.