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Concerns that turbine proposal could scupper development plans in Sharpness  

Credit:  By Liza-Jane Gillespie, Gazette, www.gazetteseries.co.uk 8 March 2012 ~~

People in Sharpness have raised concerns that a proposed wind turbine could scupper any redevelopment plans in their town.

Partnerships for Renewables – in partnership with British Waterways – has applied to Stroud District Council to build the single 122 metre wind turbine in Sharpness Docks.

The company wants to erect the turbine on land off Bridge Road on the docks, but this site is less than one kilometre from land off Oldminster Road, earmarked by the council for up to 250 houses and near an area put forward for a riverside development.

Local people have said a bill currently going through the House of Lords, which is considering introducing statutory distances of 2,000 metres between homes and wind turbines, could thwart any future plans for the area.

Jonathan Everett, of Sharpness, said: “A structure of this size will dominate the surrounding area, adversely affecting the possibility of future, non-industrial development in the area.”

Geoffrey Forward, from Purton, said: “It will scupper plans for the thoughtful redevelopment of Sharpness and the enhancement of its leisure potential.”

Cllr Gordon Craig, district councillor for the Sharpness area, told the Gazette he believes the council should wait to see what government decides.

He said: “If the turbine were to be built there ahead of this legislation it would prevent any further development at the docks.”

The application has attracted more than 70 comments on the Stroud District Council website.

Residents have also expressed concern that the wind turbine could exacerbate noise and smell problems already associated with businesses operating out of Sharpness Docks.

Stuart Barnes, from Partnerships for Renewables, said the company was confident the location of the turbine was appropriate and does not believe the government will introduce new legislation to prevent the building of turbines near homes.

He said: “The potential for a turbine in the location that we’ve proposed is actually acknowledged in the core strategy plans and would not prevent any new housing development.”

He added the company had done extensive environmental studies on the impact of the turbine with regard to local issues.

A spokesman for Stroud District Council said the authority was aware of the Wind Turbine Bill being discussed by parliament and because of its early stages would not be able to afford it significant weight but could treat it as a material consideration.

He added: “Should the bill find parliamentary time and be enacted, it is unlikely that turbines of this scale will be possible within the Stroud district, given the space separation and need for roads and power lines.”

Source:  By Liza-Jane Gillespie, Gazette, www.gazetteseries.co.uk 8 March 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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