Protesters claim a planned wind farm will be inefficient, cast shadows over their homes and ruin the countryside.
The University of Reading and Partnerships for Renewables (PFR) want to build four 130-metre high turbines on land at Rushy Mead, to the south of the M4 between junctions 10 and 11.
The planning committee at Wokingham Borough Council is set to make a decision on the controversial proposal today.
Jan Heard, from action group Householders Against Rushy Mead (HARM), said: “The turbines have to be enormous to compensate for the low wind conditions, they will ruin the landscape and adversely affect nearby residents.”
HARM claims Reading is unsuitable for wind farms with figures from the Renewable Energy Foundation showing the Green Park turbine delivered its worst performance yet last year.
Mrs Heard added: “Green Park’s poor performance has proved Reading is not a windy area suitable for more industrial wind turbines.
“PFR says the buildings at Green Park cause turbulence and performance at Rushy Mead is much better, but they have not provided any evidence to support these claims.”
Campaigners fear shadows from sails will ruin their quality of life, but PFR says it conformed to Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) guidelines.
Council officers have recommended refusal on the grounds it “would have an unacceptable, substantial and significant effect on the landscape character of the site and surrounding area”.
Parish and town councils in Shinfield, Swallowfield, Arborfield and Earley, along with Loddon Valley Residents’ Association, have all objected. Concerns were also raised by Arborfield Local History Society.
Petitions of support with 165 signatures have been received from Reading University Students’ Union and a group of Earley residents.
PFR said it had carried out a full assessment over the past two years to allow it to select the most efficient turbines for Rushy Mead.
The turbine design, it claims, would supply power to around 4,800 households.
Stephen Ainger, from PFR, said: “The type of turbine we plan to use will be designed for the wind speeds we have measured at Rushy Mead.
“The fact planning officers are suggesting refusal based purely on heritage and landscape issues is evidence that we have carried out this work well.”
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