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Wind turbine bid generates storm of protest  

Credit:  Gloucestershire Echo, www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk 4 August 2011 ~~

A proposed wind turbine near Northleach has whipped up a storm of protest.

Residents have started a petition against Dick Roper’s bid to put up a 34.2m machine at Winterwell Barn.

They claim it will be a blot on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, could set a precedent for a “forest” of turbines on farmland, will be noisy and disturb animals.

The 55kw turbine would cost £240,000 and save £12,000 in electricity with an annual benefit of £46,000 a year over its 30-year span.

Northleach district councillor Chris Hancock said: “The dilemma for Cotswold District Council planning authority is how to balance the requirement for renewable energy against protecting the AONB.

“Should there be some acceptance of this technology without opening the floodgates? Are people doing this to promote renewable energy or just to generate income?”

Northleach Town Council has objected to the scheme. Clerk Caroline Braidwood said: “The turbine’s not appropriate for a conservation area and it might also distract drivers on the A429 at the Bibury crossroads.”

Resident Amanda Courtney, whose thoroughbred horses are 500m from the proposed site, said: “Some research says noise, vibrations and flickering light can be harmful to horses.

“I have nothing against people having a modest turbine to subsidise use of personal or farm electricity, but this turbine is an enormous eyesore.

“Either you have an AONB and respect it, or you don’t have one. There aren’t any half measures.

“Once you have one we could end up with a forest.

“When I wanted to put up a little horse shelter it had to be moveable, and on metal skids, so it wasn’t permanent and harming the AONB.

“They say this turbine is temporary as it’s for 30 years but it’s bolted down.”

Mr Roper’s agent, Pegasus Planning said the turbine would not harm the area and would feed power into the grid. A spokesman said: “The turbine has been located to best mitigate against potential adverse effects on the landscape, visual amenity and ecological assets.

“The proposal would also assist with the diversification of farm activities in the area whilst securing a sustainable and reliable supply of electricity for the farm operations and the wider local area.”

Villagers have been fighting Bristol-based Wind Prospect’s proposal for three 126m-high wind turbines at Strensham.

Plans for a 30m mast at Bengrove Farm, Teddington, were thrown out by Tewkesbury Borough Council at a meeting in June.

Source:  Gloucestershire Echo, www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk 4 August 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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