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Stuart Agnew

MEPs hit out at Peterborough City Council’s plan to build a 900 acre wind/solar farm on prime agricultural land

7th January 2013

Members of the European Parliament representing the East of England and the East Midlands have condemned Peterborough City Council’s plans to eject tenant farmers from 900 acres of prime agricultural land and turn it into a giant solar and wind farm.
Stuart Agnew, the UKIP MEP for the East of England and Party spokesman on agriculture, in whose constituency the project would be built, said: “It is simply criminal to take grade one and two farmland, the best quality in the country, out of production and cover it with hideous solar panels and wind turbines, the latter dominating the sky line of the fens, some of the most picturesque countryside in East Anglia. This land should continue to be used to grow much needed food crops. It should not be sacrificed to appease the apocryphal green agenda or in a vain attempt to replace governmental funding cuts.
“It amounts to environmental vandalism of monumental proportions and it is being done at a time when grain prices are soaring and there is unprecedented demand for food. I understand that as many as eighteen tenant farmers, some of whom have been farming this land for decades, face being turned out of their farms or relocation.
“It is a highly speculative venture costing taxpayers £331 million, assuming the project does not go over budget. The eventual output is further reliant on Government subsidies which are already under threat and also have to be funded by energy users i.e. householders in their utility bills.”
Roger Helmer, the UKIP MEP from the neighbouring East Midlands region and the Party’s energy spokesman said:
“It is preposterous that this plan should be under consideration when even government ministers are questioning the value of wind turbines. At a national level, these eyesores are driving up energy prices and threatening energy security. They are undermining industrial competitiveness, and driving energy-intensive businesses off-shore, taking their investment and jobs with them. They are forcing pensioners into fuel poverty. It’s time to say NO to wind and solar, and to demand lower bills and affordable energy”.
Both MEPs have pledged to campaign against Peterborough City Council’s plans which include the installation of nine giant wind turbines and 500,000 solar panels.

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