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Protesters fight wind turbine proposals

Concerned residents are fighting plans to build a wind turbine at a farm in Thorpe Arnold.

Applicant Steve Butler wants to install the turbine, which would have a maximum height of 77m to the blade tip, at Hindles Farm – about one-and-a-half kilometres north east of Melton.

But neighbouring residents claim the turbine will have an enormous impact on the landscape and have raised a whole raft of concerns including visual impact, noise and vibration, impact on local wildlife, reduced property prices and potential health risks.

Protesters already have a petition up and running and are now looking to form a structured action group to fight the plans.

Stuart Lomas, of Melton Road, Waltham, said: “We’re less than 600 metres away from the proposed site. This turbine is going to be seen from about 20 kilometres away easily. We’ve been making people aware and now we’re concentrating on getting a website up and running, forming an action group and getting in contact with other groups who have fought against wind farms.”

Fellow objector Brendan Cannon-Malone, of Waltham Road, Thorpe Arnold, added: “This turbine will be a dominating eyesore and a blot on the landscape.

“We’re also concerned this turbine is the thin end of the wedge and there will end up being many more than one.”

Adrian Presbury, group managing director of Pure Renewable Energy, agents for the applicant, said: “This is an application for a medium sized single turbine only. There’s no intention, as has been suggested, to subsequently build a wind farm on this site.

“The turbine has been sited as sensitively as possible and is over 600m from the nearest property – which is partially screened by woodland.

“The estimated electricity produced by this single turbine would be sufficient to power about 355 homes, which is greater than the combined number of homes in Waltham, Thorpe Arnold and Bescaby.

“The planning application considers the visual impact, noise and wildlife aspects of the development and independent reports have shown that wind turbines do not have a significant effect on house prices or tourism once the development is operational.

“It makes sense for every parish in the UK to encourage the development of sufficient renewable energy for its own needs. The UK is one of the windiest places in Europe and the location at Hindles Farm has one of the best wind resources in the area.”

The application will be decided by Melton Council in due course.