An egg farmer was forced to defend controversial plans to build a 150ft wind turbine at a public meeting attended by nearly 100 residents.
The meeting at Anslow Village Hall, in Main Street, was to discuss FG Thompstone Farmer’s application to build a 225KwH (kilowatts per hour) triple-blade turbine on land it owns, in order to power its 36,000 hen business.
The meeting was organised by Anslow Parish Council, and was chaired by the parish chairman John Lanham. Some of the planning documents were also on display for residents.
In an opening statement Jonathan Thompstone, son of applicant Frank Thompstone, said: “We are confident we are making the right decision. This site is the only location that is suitable for a wind turbine.
“We have tried our best to understand the concerns of our neighbours. We have reduced the height, and the noise from our first application.” An independent acoustic consultant, asked to attend the meeting by the applicant, said that the noise generated from the turbine would be at around 30Db at Lound Farm, which is 410m away.
However, the proposals still provoked an angry response from some residents.
Chairman of Burton Albion Ben Robinson, who is a resident in Anslow, drew a round of applause after he said: “The turbine will be oppressive to a number of residents. I don’t want to see this monstrosity.” John Hall, who owns Lount Farm, the closest property to the proposed turbine, added: “I’m concerned for the health of my family. I don’t want to have to look at that every day.” Many residents voiced their concerns about the impact of noise from the turbine blades, the impact on the surrounding landscape, and the potential health implications.
Another comment was that the turbine would only benefit the egg business and there would be a detrimental effect on the surrounding businesses and residents.
Throughout the meeting Mr Thompstone urged residents to visit the community wind turbine project at Hockerton in Nottinghamshire, which has an identical model of turbine.
He also said that the turbine would help his business on the way to being ‘carbonneutral’.
After almost two-and-a-half hours of debating, a quick straw poll showed that 40 people in the room were against the proposal. Seven said they were for the turbine, and many chose to abstain.
Anslow Parish Council said it was going to meet ‘as soon as possible’ to submit its official stance to the borough council.
The public consultation period for the proposals is open until Monday and the application is expected to go to the East Staffordshire Borough Council planning committee on Monday, February 28.
Mr Frank Thompstone declined to make any further comment to the Mail after the meeting had closed.
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