Residents have been putting plans for a giant wind turbine under the microscope.
The towering windmill-like structure, which would stand almost twice as tall as Nelson’s Column, has been proposed as a renewable energy source by Bournemouth and West Hampshire Water (BWHW) for a site at Alderney.
The company wants to harness wind power at its Francis Avenue treatment works and estimates the electricity generated by the 100-metre turbine would provide 60 per cent of the site’s needs.
BWHW has described the proposed scheme as a “win-win” situation, but was keen to canvass the opinion of local residents at a public exhibition of the plans.
Tony Cooke, managing director at BWHW, said: “We recognise that our plans for a wind turbine have provoked a lively discussion but are heartened by the support shown from many quarters.
“Throughout the planning process we have tried to be as open and up-front as possible about our intentions.”
A wildlife assessment has concluded that the likely impact of the turbine would be low, although questions remain about the effect on the local bat population.
Including the blade height, the turbine would stand 100m high and BWHW estimates it would save around 760 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
It would stand less than 250m from the nearest homes and be visible across most of Bournemouth and Poole.
Bournemouth council last week voted to register an official objection to the proposals, believing it would have an “unacceptable impact” on the character of the area.
Bournemouth Airport has also lodged an objection, claiming the turbine could cause problems for its radar systems.
However, the decision on granting permission for the structure lies with Poole’s local authority.
By James Morton
30 November 2007
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