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Communities around Oldbury unite to fight wind farm plans  

Credit:  By Liza-Jane Gillespie, Gazette, www.gazetteseries.co.uk 23 September 2010 ~~

Communities surrounding land earmarked for a wind farm near Oldbury are joining forces to fight the plans.

Members of Oldbury, Rockhampton and Hill parish councils are in talks to work together in an attempt to stop the building of four 127-metre high wind turbines.

The move comes after green company Wind Prospect Developments submitted a planning application to South Gloucestershire Council for the wind farm on land off Hill Lane.

Cllr Tony England, chairman of Rockhampton Parish Council, said: “There is a great deal of apprehension about the proposed wind farm. Concern is being felt in Rockhampton, Oldbury and Hill.”

Both Rockhampton and Oldbury Parish Councils are conducting surveys to gauge local opinion.

Cllr Malcolm Lynden, of Oldbury Parish Council, said: “We have carried out a survey in the village and we still have responses coming in, but so far we have indications of a high percentage requesting the council oppose the application. There is very little support for the wind farm.”

Concerns for the wind farm are focused on the visual impact of the four turbines, which would be 50 metres taller than the existing power station.

There are also concerns about the health implications, particularly those associated with noise generated by turbines.

“Wind turbines might be appropriate in Avonmouth but they will stand out like the proverbial sore thumb in Oldbury.

“There also seems to be quite a lot of unresolved health aspects. One problem is there doesn’t seem to be any fully researched government reports since 1997,” said Cllr England.

According to Wind Prospect Developments the wind farm, known as Stoneyard Lane, would generate 10 megawatts, enough power for 5,500 homes every year.

Cllr Matthew Riddle, South Gloucestershire councillor for the Severn, said he would be calling the planning application in, so it is heard by the authority’s development control committee.

Sophie Nioche, development manager at Wind Prospect, said: “We understand that some members of the local community are concerned about how the wind farm will affect them.

“In our experience, this can be because people don’t know what to expect and residents often prove to be among the strongest advocates of their nearest wind farm once it is built.

“An independent noise assessment has found that predicted noise levels from the turbines at the nearest homes are below the day time and night time noise limits at all wind speeds and directions, and planning conditions governing noise limits would be strictly adhered to.”

Members of the public have until Friday, October 22 to comment on the application.

To view the application visit www.southglos.gov.uk

Source:  By Liza-Jane Gillespie, Gazette, www.gazetteseries.co.uk 23 September 2010

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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