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Castle’s owner takes up arms to repel windfarm  

Credit:  Stroud Life, www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk 18 January 2012 ~~

Windfarm turbines would be clearly visible in the landscape around historic Berkeley Castle, its owner told an ongoing planning inquiry.

John Berkeley said the four 120m-high windmills proposed for the Standle Farm site in Stinchcombe would be easily seen from his Grade I listed historic home.

The landowner and campaigners from Save Berkeley Vale are joining Stroud District Council in opposing green electricity company Ecotricity’s appeal for permission to build the windfarm.

“They would be under a mile away and would stick out like a sore thumb in a very beautiful area of Gloucestershire,” Mr Berkeley said after the hearing.

The impact of the turbines on local heritage, including listed buildings and the historic landscape, was a major consider-ation for the inquiry, government planning inspector Richard Thomas said in opening the hearing at Ebley Mill.

Other issues were the impact of the Stroud-based renewable power company’s turbines on neighbours and on the nearby Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Archaeologist and historic buildings conservator Dr Jonathan Edis said the turbines would have only minor impact on the castle.

In evidence for Ecotricity, Dr Edis said that of 31 listed buildings nearby only three would be moderately affected.

He said “no substantial” or “severe” harm would be caused overall.

Berkeley Castle started life as a castellulum, or little fort, perched on a mound during the reign of Edward the Confessor, which ran from 1042 to 1066.

In 1153, King Henry II granted it to Robert Fitzharding, a wealthy merchant and provost of Bristol, who built today’s castle.

It is reputed that King Edward II was murdered there on September 21, 1327.

The castle has been the home of the Berkeley family, which can trace its male line back to the Saxons, for almost 900 years.

Source:  Stroud Life, www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk 18 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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