Battle lines are drawn for a key meeting which could see permission granted for four huge wind turbines in the Berkeley Vale.
Stroud District Council planning officers have recommended Next Generation’s proposals for four 120 metre-high wind turbines at Stinchcombe are approved, which means the elected planning committee members have the chance to kick it out or give it the green light on Tuesday.
Next Generation sister firm Ecotricity floated the idea of eight turbines at the site almost 18 months ago, and since then pared it back to four.
The proposal sparked huge controversy, as the site is overlooked by the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, within which Ecotricity has one turbine at Nympsfield.
Dozens of objections from both sides have been sent to the council, and campaign group Save Berkeley Vale is hoping committee members will ignore their officers’ advice.
“We do hope very, very sincerely that they have been taking on board some of the many concerns that have been expressed,” said Pippa Leggate, a committee member of Save Berkeley Vale.
“We don’t have a problem as such with green energy but in this context where the vale does not have the same consistent winds that you might find in an open area of water of rolling high moorland, there are issue of consistency which are related to the cost effectiveness and overall effectiveness.
“We are concerned about noise and the impact it will have on a beautiful region.
“There is a large body of concern that it is going to spoil an area without providing a benefit.”
The proposal was recommended for refusal at the last committee meeting in February because not enough information on potential noise impact was provided.
If it gets approval, Ecotricity is pledging to create a fund which could bring in £10 million for community facilities in its lifespan.
“With all the current talk of libraries, community centres and sports halls being closed because of government cuts, here’s a great way for local communities to replace that funding,” said Ecotricity boss Dale Vince. ”
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