Controversial plans to develop a wind farm have been visualised in contrasting images from the developer and campaigners showing the turbines could be seen as far away as Sindlesham and Wokingham town.
Images from developer Partnership Renewables (PfR) show how the four wind turbines will look at various points around the borough, with one map indicating they could be visible from Newbury, Slough and Guildford.
Images released by the Householders Against Rushy Mead (HARM) show turbines as seen from Bradmore Way in Lower Earley and near Asda in Chalfont Way, which appear larger and more visible.
The images of the 130 metre turbines, which would be built on land between Arborfield and Lower Earley, were presented at a public meeting held by Arborfield Parish Council on Monday to discuss PfR’s application to Wokingham Borough Council.
HARM says it believes the wind turbines would “dominate the landscape, overshadow and blight all of the surrounding settlement areas and adversely impact the amenity of thousands of people”.
HARM member Jan Heard said: “Locating turbines so irresponsibly close to such a large number of houses can only be a bad idea.”
Tom Brinicombe, spokesman for PfR, said: “Anyone who wants to know what the development will look like should view the photo montage in the planning application.
Ill wind is blowing for wind turbine protesters
“Those have been produced in a detailed way and will be scrutinised by consultees and Wokingham Borough Council for accuracy.
“We treat it as a priority to get factual information to the community and urge people to look at the images within the planning application rather than those produced by a third party that would not be scrutinised for accuracy.”
Shinfield parish councillor and Green Party member Marjory Bisset has given the wind turbines her backing.
She said: “Fears about noise and health are unfounded. Modern turbines are very quiet, giving rise to noise levels similar to rural background noise at night time.
“I sympathise with people who find wind turbines a blot on the landscape but they are certainly an improvement on power stations and oil wells.”
But residents of Arborfield raised their concerns at the public meeting on Monday, where they submitted questions concerning flood risk, shadow flicker and disruption to birds and horse riders.
One resident said: “I am 85 years old and live in full view and only 500 metres from Rushy Mead. I have grave concerns about proven health issues, noise and flicker associated with wind farms.”
Councillors urged residents to make their views known by contacting the council before the extended deadline of November 30.
Cllr Ashley Wright, chairman of planning for Arborfield Parish Council, said: “Some people like having turbines and think having green energy is a good thing. We need to look at the positives that are there for green energy but also the positives that are there for our village, and at the end of the day it is our village.”
Wokingham borough councillor Gary Cowan said: “If it does affect quality of life then it is fair to say to the council they should refuse the application.”
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