September 10, 2010

Area east says ‘no’ to turbines

Gay Pirrie-Weir 10 September 2010

South Somerset councillors have unanimously objected to the latest scheme by Ecotricity to site four wind turbines on land at Silton, 400 metres over the Dorset border from Somerset.

At the September meeting, the members of the area east committee re-iterated their previous objections to Ecotricity’s application, which had been for six turbines and was refused by North Dorset District Council.

The meeting was told by Cucklington Parish Meeting chairman Vivien Hutchings that village residents were opposed to the application – which will again be decided by NDDC – on the grounds of noise (both from the turbines and increased aircraft noise over Cucklington by planes avoiding the turbine area), visual intrusion, traffic danger, and threat to the water courses.

Mrs Hutchings told the meeting that included in Ecotricity’s supporting documents was the statement that Cucklington, a rural settlement of around 200 people, had orange street lighting – when local people know that it has no street lighting at all.

Brian Truman of Save our Silton told the committee that 18 months ago Ecotricity had installed an anemometer on the site. But the data the company provided to North Dorset District Council to support its latest application did not include readings from this wind speed meter, but relied instead on UK average data, underlining the point made by the Silton campaigners that this was not the ideal site for wind turbines.

Every parish council and parish meeting around the area has voted against the new proposals.

South Somerset councillors added their voices, while accepting the need to find the right sites and the right systems for introducing renewable energy into the county.

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