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Berkeley Vale wind farm to be debated at public inquiry  

Credit:  By Liza-Jane Gillespie, Gazette, www.gazetteseries.co.uk 4 January 2012 ~~

A community campaign group is gearing itself up to fight against proposals for a wind farm near their homes.

The Save Berkeley Vale (SBV) group is opposing the erection of four 120-metre wind turbines on land between the M5 and A38 near Stinchcombe.

The planning application was refused by Stroud District Council in April last year but Ecotricity, the company behind the application, took the decision to the Planning Inspectorate.

A public inquiry into the application, lead by an independent planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State, is due to start next Tuesday, January 10.

According to Stroud District Council – which will have to defend its decision to refuse the application – the inquiry is scheduled for four days.

However, the inquiry could last longer because Ecotricity has asked for six to seven days which means it may have to be adjourned and reconvened in February or March.

Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, said: “The planning officers of Stroud District Council recommended this wind project for approval, based on the facts – it’s a well designed project, in a good location, and it will make a significant amount of green energy for local use – for now and for future generations. “We are confident that the Planning Inspector will reach the same conclusion.”

To help pay for a planning consultant and solicitor to represent them at the public inquiry SBV have had to raise more than £20,000.

So far the group has raised almost £3,000 with a progressive supper and a walk across Stinchcombe Hill and more events are planned.

Jack Sant, chairman of the group, said: “We are delighted with the response from people in the village, the surrounding area and nationally.

“They, like us, wish to preserve the vale views from and into the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which are regarded as being of national significance. They also believe that the turbines will impact on the local community in many ways including employment in local business.”

Anyone wanting to donate to the SBV fund should write to SBV c/o Orchard Bye, Echo Lane, Stinchcombe.

The public inquiry into the Berkeley Vale windfarm begins next Tuesday, January 10 at the council chamber Ebley Mill, Stroud at 10am.

Source:  By Liza-Jane Gillespie, Gazette, www.gazetteseries.co.uk 4 January 2012

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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