A monitoring mast, 16 metres high, is to be put up at Grange Farm, near West Ashton, to record gust levels for a proposed three-turbine wind farm on the land.
The steel mast, which resembles a radio or television transmitter, was granted permission by Wiltshire Council for a three-year period.
It will be managed by REG Windpower, which proposes to install 130m turbines on the site and intends to put in a planning application in September.
The mast application received no objections from local councils, but Bratton Parish Council did express concerns about the effect the mast would have on Keevil airfield.
West Ashton Parish Council chairman Richard Covington said: “There would be no justification for us rejecting a temporary 16m mast on planning grounds.
“But I suspect the council will be raising its voice fairly strongly against putting turbines which will affect people’s lives so close to their homes.”
Councillors from nearby parishes went to visit a five-turbine wind farm north of Swindon last month, and Mr Covington said the visit had not assuaged their fears over noise levels.
“You could hold a conversation easily under the turbines, but there was an annoying noise from the gearbox and the blades,” he said.If that carries over 800m, to where people live, it would be constantly in the background.
“The woman showing us around said there had been complaints and those turbines were further from houses than the ones proposed here.”
Residents of nearby villages – including West Ashton, Bratton, Keevil and Heywood – expressed mixed feelings about the planned turbines at consultations held last month.
In a report on the application, planning officers stated: “The fact that the proposed temporary mast might support the economic or practical case for any future wind turbine development is irrelevant and does not prejudice the outcome of any such future application, which will be the subject of its own application, public consultation and determination on its own merit.”
On Wednesday, West Ashton Parish Council heard the views of members of the public at their meeting.
Councillors agreed not to make any formal decision on the matter until a planning application had been submitted by REG Windpower.
For information on the proposals, see REG Windpower’s plan website at www.
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