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Turbine scheme puts SOS in spin

Villagers opposed to wind turbines in Bisley are mobilising a campaign to keep them off the landscape.

The Save Our Skylines group jumped into action after Bisley with Lypiatt Parish Council identified two potential sites for windmills which could provide free electricity and money for the community.

“SOS believes the parish council proposal would cause irreparable damage to the landscape, not only for the residents in Bisley but for those living miles around,” said SOS spokeswoman Jane Walker. “It is a wholly inappropriate location for such massive structures.”

The parish council is considering a number of options to generate its own electricity and wind power is one of them.

It presented ideas for community-owned renewable energy schemes at a public meeting in November.

Community nurse Mrs Walker, who lives in Bisley, felt the meeting was unbalanced.

“It prevented debate other than well-rehearsed interventions by interested parties, from outside the community, who had been invited by the council,” she said.

Feedback taken afterwards showed 56 of those at the meeting supported the concept of a community energy project, with one against and 11 who said ‘maybe’.

But 32 supported a community turbine with 34 against.

Mrs Walker said SOS members supported renewable energy but they did not agree with two wind turbines in a conservation village within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

SOS has produced a leaflet informing parishioners of the parish council’s proposals and will be distributing them to householders in the parish, said SOS’s Norman MacLeod.

He said SOS members were unhappy that turbine supporters from outside the parish had a disproportionate say at the November meeting.

District councillor Martin Whiteside (Green, Trupp) was a panellist alongside energy consultant Corin Hughes and parish councillor and Green Shop owner Roger Budgeon.

Parish councillor Lesley Greene said the meeting was open to anyone and councillors from neighbouring parishes were there. She said there was no specific proposal for turbines.

The former Green district councillor said: “All we have done is research into alternative energy schemes.

“Wind is one of those but there is also solar and insulating homes among a whole range of technologies being looked at. No decisions have been made.”

Bisley ward parish councillor Roger Utley said other public meetings were planned in Oakridge and Eastcombe because Bisley WI Hall was not big enough to hold all villagers.

He said a 800kW turbine generating power a third of the time could earn £50,000 to £60,000.