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Giant wind turbine planned for M5  

Credit:  By David Paine, Worcester News, www.worcesternews.co.uk 18 January 2012 ~~

A wind turbine as big as Big Ben could be installed just off a motorway junction at Worcester.

But the turbine, equivalent to the height of seven double-decker buses, proposed for a field next to the motocross track at junction 6 (Worcester north) of the M5 has got people in the nearby village of Tibberton in a spin.

There are concerns about its impact on the skyline, noise and whether it will generate enough electricity to make it worthwhile.

Christopher Hartwright, chairman of Tibberton Parish Council, said: “The initial response in the community seems to be unfavourable, but it’s early days yet and we’re still waiting for details.

“From what I understand, people who have heard about it and looked at it with the details available have got some serious questions to ask.

“The main concern seems to be the fact it’s going to be more than 300 ft high and the impact that’s going to have on the skyline.”

In pre-application consultation with Wychavon District Council, officers indicated they did not believe it would have a detrimental impact on the skyline and said noise levels would be drowned out by the motorway.

However, wind levels have hit Worcester News headlines before.

In 2007, we revealed that there was not enough wind in Worcester to make installing a domestic turbine worthwhile.

But applicants DistGen said it believes the three-blade turbine measuring up to 100 metres base to tip – five times the size of the Angel of the North – will produce enough power in a year to serve the needs of nearly 600 homes.

The Bristol-based wind power company also said the turbine will help reduce CO2 emissions in the area, especially those relating to the operation of the Apex Motorcross racetrack and said that it needs additional income to ensure its future.

No one from Apex Motorcross was available for comment.

DistGen said it will offer the parish council five per cent of the gross annual income – potentially worth in excess of £15,000 a year – for the duration of the scheme which will last between 20 and 25 years.

Residents will also be given the opportunity to buy shares in the turbine, while DistGen will earn revenue from the scheme to cover development, servicing and other operational costs.

The Ministry of Defence and other aviation bodies have been consulted on the plans and no concerns have been raised.

In concluding its application, DistGen said: “The proposals would have no significant impact on the living conditions of people living nearby or the experience to visitors.”

A public meeting has been scheduled to take place at Tibberton Village Hall at 6.30pm on Tuesday, January 31, during which DistGen staff will be on hand to present details about the scheme.

Source:  By David Paine, Worcester News, www.worcesternews.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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