Controversial plans to build a windfarm near Shifnal could bring in tens of thousands of tourists creating havoc on roads in the area, a public inquiry heard today.
Campaigners claim the proposals for six 413ft tall turbines at New House Farm, Brineton, would lead to ‘intolerable’ numbers of people sightseeing, the hearing was told.
And they claim it would lead to extra traffic on quiet rural lanes and increase the risk of accidents.
Bristol-based Wind Prospect Developments Ltd is appealing against a decision by South Staffordshire Council to refuse permission for the turbines. Campaign group Stop the Turbine Action Group (Stag) was represented at the inquiry at Blymhill Village Hall.
In its opening statement, Stag representative Mike Barnard, said traffic witness Bill Boon had assessed the likely number of visitors to the proposed site, based on the experiences of four other wind farms.
He said: “Whilst in some areas an increase in tourism would be seen as manageable and even desirable, in a situation such as this it is intolerable.”
South Staffordshire Council refused permission for the development on land owned by Lord Newport and his fellow directors at Bradford Rural Estates.
Tina Douglass, counsel for the council, told the inquiry the ‘magnitude of change’ on the area would be large with an adverse effect on the landscape.
However Ian Ponter, counsel for Wind Prospect Developments, said that central to their appeal was the need to address climate change and maintain the nation’s energy security.
Jonny Murphy, spokesman for Wind Prospect Developments, said after the opening: “We know that this is a very good site for a wind farm and are confident that the site is good enough to be approved by a planning inspectorate.
“We acknowledge the impact of the scheme and it is up to the inspector to weigh up the benefits of the scheme against those.”
The hearing continues.
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