Lively exchanges between members of the public and representatives of a company seeking to build a windfarm in North Dorset peppered a parish council meeting.
The extraordinary meeting of Zeals Parish Council was called to consider Ecotricity’s second application for turbines at Silton.
The planning application for four turbines on land between Whistley Farm and West Bourton, follows one for six turbines which was turned down by North Dorset District Council in July last year.
Opponent Campbell Dunford said: “This application is as flawed as the previous application and provides no benefits to the local community”.
He identified impact on the landscape, on nearby residents and tourism as reasons for opposing the application.
Francis Jones presented a photograph, taken from the bedroom of his property at Whitecross, with an arrow in the skyline showing the height of the proposed turbines.
Illustrating their impact on the north of the Blackmore Vale and Cranborne Chase area of outstanding natural beauty, he said: “These turbines would be entirely out of place at Silton, dominating the landscape, having a disastrous impact on local tourism and the lives of those living nearby”.
Dee Worlock, deputy chairman of Save Our Silton, set up to oppose the turbines, said: “Two thousand letters were submitted to North Dorset District Council last time and I have read everyone one of them. They came not only from the immediate area but from all over the world.
“On reading them the one thing that stands out is the passion with which they were written. I realise that many people do live in the vicinity of wind turbines however this area of rural North Dorset is the wrong place and I appeal to the members of Zeals Parish Council to oppose this application”.
Brian Trueman, Save Our Silton treasurer, referred to the first Ecotricity annual report and challenged some of the statements contained in the report regarding the efficiencies of wind turbines saying: “No houses are guaranteed constant power from wind turbines, because wind is unpredictable and intermittent.
“The Energy Regulator has stated that for every megawatt of energy produced by wind turbines conventional back up capacity of 0.9 megawatts is required”.
Duncan Bennett spoke in favour of the application, referring to the need for an expansion in the various forms of renewable energy, to help meet requirements when fossil fuels were no longer available.
Council chairman Charles Spencer invited two representatives of Ecotricity to speak in support of the application.
After closing the public forum and holding a brief discussion, the vote by the council was unanimous in opposing the application.
It is already opposed by Gillingham Town Council and Penselwood, Silton and Cucklington parish councils.
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