The man behind a scheme to install a wind turbine as high as Big Ben next to a motorway junction at Worcester has defended the proposal despite admitting the site is not as windy as others across the country.
As reported last week, the 100-metre-high turbine, equivalent to the height of seven double-decker buses, is proposed for a field next to the motocross track at junction 6 (Worcester north) of the M5 The turbine itself could cost £800,000 to £1 million, while installation costs on top could push the total outlay up by another £200,000 to £300,000.
If the application is approved by Wychavon District Council it could be up and running in the summer.
It is known that Worcester is not windy enough to make installing domestic turbines on a city home worthwhile but John Zamick, founder and managing director of DistGen, the company behind the wind turbine, said the site identified is on a hill in a wide open space and the turbine’s height would mean it will be able to pick up stronger gusts.
He said: “We feel it is not a top end site for wind speed but it will be adequate. It’s a good site and there’s no good reason not to do it.”
The proposal has raised questions and concerns among residents in Tibberton, the village closest to the site, but Mr Zamick is hopeful of winning sceptics over starting with a public meeting at Tibberton Village Hall at 6.30pm on Tuesday, January 31.
Mr Zamick said noise should not be an issue because of the persistent sound of traffic travelling along the M5 but he admitted the turbine, at five times the size of the Angel of the North, would change the view.
He said: “Wind turbines are visibly tall structures and you will see it. People can get very worried about turbines but the reality is that after a couple of years their reaction is, ‘So what?’”
We previously reported how DistGen will offer the parish council five per cent of the gross annual income – a potential windfall in excess of £15,000 a year for the council – during the life of the turbvine, which is 20-25 years.
Residents will also be given the opportunity to buy shares in the turbine.
Meanwhile, our website worcesternews.co.uk asked: “What do you think of wind turbines?” Sixty-six per cent replied, “I’m all for them”, while 34 per cent said, “I’m against them”.