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Thornbury turbine opponents won’t give up fight as another attempt under way

People who fought plans for a wind farm near Thornbury have pledged to “vigorously” oppose another attempt by an energy company to install four giant turbines in the Severn Vale.

Bristol-based Wind Prospect Developments is taking its scheme to a public inquiry in a bid to overturn South Gloucestershire Council’s decision to reject the project.

As reported in the Evening Post last week, the firm believes it has a strong case, especially as councillors who voted against the 417ft (127 metres) turbines went against the recommendation of the council’s officers.

But Barry Turner, chairman of Oldbury-on-Severn Parish Council, said: “We imagined Wind Prospect would do this and we’ll vigorously oppose the appeal.

“Taking into account Wind Prospects’ disregard for local opinion, it’s not surprising it has decided to ignore the wishes of the majority of truly local people.

“The impact these massive turbines will have on the area and the lives of those who live in proximity to them is unacceptable.

“The decision by the council’s development control committee to refuse the application was a victory for localism and democracy.

“We will seek to be actively involved in the appeal process to ensure the feelings of the local population are made known and feel there is good justification for the appeal to fail.”

Matthew Riddle, the South Gloucestershire councillor for the area, said: “The Severn Vale is very flat and these structures are just too big and too damaging on the landscape when compared to the relatively small amount of electricity they produce.”

Wind Prospect said the scheme for the Stoneyard Lane site, close to Oldbury nuclear power station, would generate enough power for 5,500 homes a year and help cut carbon emissions.

It believes the site is suitable, its application “robust” and said it had received support from the public – people who opponents said did not live in the area and would be unaffected by the scheme.

Councillors who voted against the turbines said their size and scale would have a significant and harmful effect on the surroundings, which would not be outweighed by the renewable energy produced. They also had worries about their effect on people’s health and the amount of construction traffic.

A date for the inquiry has yet to be fixed but a planning inspector will hear evidence from all sides and visit the site before making a ruling.