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Plan for 180 wind turbines kicks up storm  

Credit:  Western Gazette - West Dorset, www.thisisdorset.co.uk 1 September 2011 ~~

A strategy which earmarks 180 wind turbines for Dorset – including 70 in the west of the county – has met fierce opposition.

The Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Renewable Energy Strategy says its target is not binding but warns of possible penalties if the required contribution to national renewable energy generation levels is not met.

The strategy has been drawn up by Dorset Energy Group, comprising of representatives from all the county’s local authorities with input from a range of partners and support from Regen SW, a Government quango scheduled to be scrapped.

The findings have been attacked by Save Our Silton, Save the Vale and Dorset Against Rural Turbines.

The document, currently under public consultation, indicates that up to 180 giant turbines could be erected in Dorset, 54 of them in the north of the county and more than 70 in the west.

Save Our Silton recently campaigned successfully against a proposal for the erection of 400ft turbines but there is still time for Ecotricity to appeal against North Dorset District Council’s two refusals of planning permission.

Chris Langham, chairman of SOS, said the strategy document was worrying in terms of its value to any appeal.

Save Our Silton says that despite the enormous impact the strategy proposals would have on the Dorset landscape, there has been little public consultation or advertising of them.

Mr Langham said: “We know that when the developers chose the Silton site they did not use the wind speed data collected from their own anemometer there, but instead used the UK average figure, which is much higher.

“But the subsidy system would still make it profitable to build the huge turbines here.”

Further details can be found on the Dorset County Council website http://www.dorsetforyou.com/402620. Dorset County Council is expected to review the proposals in early October and the consultation is open to outside submissions until Friday, September 30.

Source:  Western Gazette - West Dorset, www.thisisdorset.co.uk 1 September 2011

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