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Campaigners take their protest to the sky

A helium ‘blimp’ balloon was flown to show the height of the proposed wind turbine near Carisbrooke.

Members of The Wight Against Rural Turbines (ThWART) said they wanted to illustrate the adverse impact the turbine would have on the surrounding landscape, including the nearby Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

As previously reported, a planning application for the turbine, with a blade tip height of 81 metres (265ft), has been submitted for a site on farm land by the owners of the Great Park estate in Betty Haunt Lane.

Concerns have been voiced about the proximity of the turbine to both an AONB and local homes.

“Putting an industrial-sized turbine in this quiet rural setting and so close to residential properties is madness,” said Harriet Kent, of New Park Farm, situated 500 metres from the planned turbine.

“We are bound to be disturbed by noise, particularly at night, and also by shadow flicker from the turbine blades.”

More than 40 opponents of the proposal met in the Blacksmith’s Arms to muster support for a campaign against it.

Planning agents, Knight Frank, said the turbine would make a significant contribution to local renewable energy and was significantly smaller than typical commercial wind farms, which often exceed 125m.

In the application, landscape consultants concluded the structure would have an ‘acceptable’ impact on the countryside and there were no important breeding populations of birds affected.

Consultants, who examined the potential effect of noise on people living in 11 nearby properties, also concluded noise from the blades and turbine was ‘not a material factor’ and of the three nearest properties, within 520 metres of the turbine, only one, Pondacre Farm, would be affected by sunlight shining through the revolving blades for a total of 29.14 hours during January, February, November and December.