Chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall steps into south Shropshire town's wind turbine debate

Celebrity chef and broadcaster Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall spoke at a meeting discussing a wind turbine-powered community heat network in south Shropshire.

The celebrity broadcaster and chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, left, speaks in Bishop's Castle
The celebrity broadcaster and chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, left, speaks in Bishop's Castle

Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall addressed a crowd of more than 70 people at a town forum in Bishop's Castle earlier this week which was hearing a report on the heat network.

The Shropshire Star understands that he was in the area as part of filming for a documentary but the details are being kept under wraps.

Sharenergy of Shrewsbury is proposing to supply heat from an air-source heat pump powered by the wind turbine, which could be pumped to 100 houses as well as the Community College, SpArC leisure centre and Enterprise House. The project has funding from Shropshire & Telford Community Energy.

The scheme would result in a massive reduction in carbon emissions for the town as well as enabling people to get rid of their boilers and oil tanks. A response is awaited from Shropshire Council to a pre-planning application for the wind turbine. A formal planning application could then follow.

The Town Forum, organised by the charity Light Foot Enterprises, was being filmed as part of a documentary on local renewable energy projects to be shown on television in the autumn.

Mike Watkins of Light Foot said: "To round off the evening’s discussion, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall sought the meeting’s views on the authenticity of the climate emergency, the use of on-shore wind-turbines as one means of countering it and, specifically, on whether a wind turbine should be used for the Bishop’s Castle Heat Network.

"There was an overwhelmingly positive response to all his questions, with only a few dissenting or undecided.

"Hugh proffered an opportunity to those unconvinced or unsure to join his team to visit and learn from other renewable energy projects they will be covering as part of the documentary."

Mr Watkins added that the company is pleased with the support for the scheme offered by the majority of the local residents who crowded into the Three Tuns meeting room on Saturday.

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