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Bemusement over £1.4 million wind farm meeting

An entrepreneur who hopes to build a wind turbine in Coleford has said he “can’t understand” plans to hold a crunch meeting against it this week.

Campaigners have distributed flyers ahead of a meeting at the Broadwell Club on Wednesday, but Roland Kear, who wants to put up the £1.4million, 270ft high turbine at Poolway Farm, said it would just fuel misinformation about it.

He has planned three information sessions to go ahead on Saturday to address concerns and quash rumours flying around about the project.

He said: “I just don’t understand why they would hold this meeting before Saturday.

“I could understand if they all came along and then decided to meet if they were still upset about it, but it just doesn’t make sense.”

He said myths and rumour were always to be expected with a project involving wind turbines, but urged campaigners to listen to the facts.

He said: “You are bound to have grievances, after all, it’s a big structure.

“On Saturday, I am going to tell the truth and answer their questions. I was never going to try to sneak it through the planning process.

“There will be three sessions, and I hope to attract between 300 to 400 overall.”

He said he had sent leaflets to the homes of all residents living in the GL16 postcode area, and said the turnout on the day would reflect how much the community cared about the issue.

If built, money made by the turbine is expected to be ploughed back into the Coleford community.

Mr Kear said his reasons for wanting to build it were simple.

He said: “At the end of the day, we’re going to run out of electricity at some stage, and yes we are going to have to continue to use nuclear, but if we can get enough wind energy to save ourselves just one nuclear power station, I will be happy.”

The Citizen contacted the Broadwell Social Club, and owners confirmed a meeting had been booked, but could not say who had arranged it.

Town councillor Clive Elsmore said he had no idea who had planned the meeting on Wednesday.

He said: “I assume it would have been some of the local residents. There was nothing on the bit of paper about who had organised it.”

He added that he thought nervousness about the application had been spawned from residents not knowing enough about the proposals.

He said: “I think people want to talk about how big it’s going to be before the Saturday meeting.”

The consultation sessions on Saturday will be held at the Forest Hills Golf Club in Mile End Road in Coleford.

They will start at 9.30pm, 11am and 2pm respectively.