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Mast move sparks turbine fear  

People living near a reservoir in Shropshire have been left stunned after a 60-metre high wind monitoring mast appeared in the skyline.

Although people living near Chelmarsh knew a water company had won an appeal to have the mast installed 12 months ago, they had heard nothing since.

But villager Ian Russell said the mast has now sprung up at the reservoir and he was concerned that more were on the way.

South Staffordshire Water’s plan was rejected by Bridgnorth councillors last May but passed on appeal in October.

Mr Russell said: “Everyone thought it had gone away but things are moving on and I want to let people know about it.

“I can’t quite believe this is happening as it’s been so quiet for 12 months then suddenly on April 1 this mast is put up.

“My concern is what’s going to happen next, we could soon have a whole wind farm there.

“In the first instance I want to get something out there and let people know that this hasn’t gone away and this mast has been erected.”

District council planning officer Richard Fortune said South Staffordshire Water had a three-year permission for the wind monitoring mast.

He said: “They are gathering data about wind speeds to see if it’s a viable position. If they decide they want a wind farm or keep the mast there longer than three years they will have to put in a separate planning application.

“It has been granted permission for three years so there is nothing anyone can do about that.”

Keith Marshall, of South Staffordshire Water, said: “The wind turbine is just for collecting wind speeds and then we’ll decide whether or not to install a wind turbine.

“It’s early days yet and we’re just looking forward to the results, there are no actual plans as yet to install a wind turbine. We will be collecting data for the next six to 12 months and then we’ll possibly take it down.”

Shropshire Star

15 April 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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