A plan for the West’s biggest wind turbines looked set to get the go-ahead from councillors last night despite strong opposition from angry neighbours.
People living in South Marston, a village on the eastern edge of Swindon in Wiltshire, have objected to the plan for three 120m high wind turbines to be located inside the Honda car factory site.
The turbines, to be built and run by Stroud-based green energy supplier Ecotricity, would be the tallest structures in Swindon and the tallest of a new generation of wind turbines being proposed across the West – with contentious plans in the Berkeley Vale and around the village of Huntspill on the Somerset Levels.
Council planners were due to meet last night to decide on the scheme for Honda, with around 100 residents from South Marston arriving to object to the scheme. Councillors had already put off making a decision once before, but planning officers at Swindon borough council recommended the three turbines be given planning permission.
Objectors in South Marston have run a strong campaign against the turbines, even lifting up a barrage balloon up to almost 400ft to show how high the turbines would be and how they would dominate the landscape in what they say is a sensitive part of the countryside, between urban Swindon and their village.
“There’s nowhere else in the UK, or possibly the world, where there are three wind turbines of this size this close to people,” said Des Fitzpatrick, one of the objectors.
Other objectors claim that while they are not against wind turbines, they are protesting about their size and positioning.
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