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Wind turbine blown away by planners  

Credit:  Pippa Chambers, Reporter, Weston Worle & Somerset Mercury, www.thewestonmercury.co.uk 4 June 2011 ~~

An appeal to install a 67m-high ‘eyesore’ near Yatton homes has been dismissed – much to the relief of worried residents.

Smart Systems Ltd, an aluminium system company based in Arnolds Way, submitted a planning application to North Somerset Council in 2007 for an extension.

This was approved by the unitary authority, but one of the conditions of the blueprint, to build a large wind turbine, was rejected by council bosses.

Planning chiefs requested more details on the energy saving proposal and once they came in last year objections flooded in from villagers – and even Bristol Airport initially said it could prove a nuisance for air traffic controllers.

Smart Systems appealed against the refusal, but this week planning inspector Andrew Pykett upheld the decision.

He said: “I recognise that the turbine in this case would only be about half the size of the largest turbines now in use, but it would still be a very substantial vertical structure in relation to its surroundings.

“In relation to living conditions of the potential neighbours, I am concerned that the noise assessment which has been carried out is insufficient to engender confidence that the scheme would be acceptable.”

Mr Pykett did recognise some positive aspects of the turbine, such as the contribution to energy needs, but said there was also no ‘reliable’ information that confirmed it would not be a threat to protected species.

Tony Moulin, a North Somerset councillor who lives in 
Yatton, said: “It would be a visual eyesore in our landscape and would have set a worrying precedent.”

Before the appeal decision was revealed the company installed a temporary 50m test mast to gather winds speed information in preparation for the 67m structure. But, as Smart Systems did not seek permission from the unitary authority, it had to submit a retrospective request for approval.

A spokesman from Yatton Parish Council said: “Councillors were disappointed that Smart Systems did not submit a planning application prior to the construction of the temporary mast. As the appeal has been dismissed, there is no justification for the mast to remain there.”

Source:  Pippa Chambers, Reporter, Weston Worle & Somerset Mercury, www.thewestonmercury.co.uk 4 June 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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