Giant wind turbines may be coming to North Dorset.
Parish planning chiefs will consider a proposal to build six turbines with blades 120 metres long near Gillingham.
The “wind park” is planned for the Silton district, and will require access roads and a sub-station.
The nearest dwelling would be just 500 metres from the turbines, with Gillingham town centre just over a mile away.
Ecotricity, the company behind the proposal, says the site at Silton was chosen after considering factors including wind speed and ease of connection to the national grid.
The aesthetic impact on the district has also been considered, says the company, which claims to have taken into account effects on the landscape, ecology, and culture of the district.
Noise from the giant blades, and the flicker of shadows, had been factored in to the proposal, the company adds.
The turbines could produce nearly 20 per cent of the suggested target for renewable electricity generation in Dorset by 2010.
Electricity for nearly 9,000 homes could be generated by the giant propellers, reducing North Dorset’s carbon footprint by about 10,000 tonnes a year, according to Ecotricity.
Dorset environmentalist Angela Pooley said an environmental impact assessment would have to be made, but backed the use of wind farms in the county to produce renewable energy.
“We have to reduce our carbon footprint and that means looking at renewable sources of energy,” said the Friends of the Earth co-ordinator.
But Bob Walter, the MP for North Dorset, opposed the turbines, saying they were unsightly, heavily subsidised and inefficient.
Gillingham Town Council’s development control recommendations committee received a scoping report at their meeting on Monday.
Town councillors asked for a range of information prior to the planning application being submitted, ranging from reports on the access to the effect of bird migration.
Parish councils in Silton and Bourton have also been asked for their views.
By Timothy John
12 February 2008
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