Two farmers facing life in the shadow of giant wind turbines planned for a village near Gillingham have spoken of their concerns.
Tim Allard and Cleo Campbell run farms in Milton-on-Stour, the village next to the proposed site of a windfarm in Silton.
Mr Allard owns Whistley Farm, which he says is just over 500 metres from a site proposed for six turbines whose blades will almost reach the height of Salisbury Cathedral.
He fears the giant windmills will have a “huge impact” on his business.
“It’s come as a shock. It really has stirred up passion around here,” said Mr Allard.
The farmer converted part of his dairy farm into a holiday destination nearly three years ago, building a Scandinavian-style lodge for six people, a fishing lake, and a four-hole golf course.
“People come for a peaceful, tranquil stay. The turbines will dominate the lake and the lodge,” said Mr Allard.
“The turbines will have huge impact on my repeat business. It will have a detrimental effect,” he added.
Cleo Campbell is Mr Allard’s next-door neighbour and the owner of Whistley Waters.
The 15-acre farm is equal parts lakes, pasture and mixed woodland, and has two holiday lodges.
Mrs Campbell says she returned with her husband from their annual holiday to the wind turbine proposal.
“It was an astounding shock,” said Mrs Campbell.
And the farmer fears the worst for her holiday business.
“We attract people who want the peace and quiet in beautiful countryside. They could be put off by the fact there is a windfarm near by,” said Mrs Campbell.
But local environmentalists said the farmers could be pleasantly surprised.
Sally Cooke, the manager of the Dorset branch of environmental group, Agenda 21, said those living close to other turbines had changed their minds.
“People living near Lamb Rigg in Cumbria were surveyed before the turbines went up. More than half of those who were opposed now support it,” said Ms Cooke.
“Only one in four remain opposed,” she added.
By Timothy John
15 March 2008
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