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Villagers unite to fight plans for countryside wind turbine

More than 80 villagers are objecting to plans for a wind turbine on land between Austrey and Orton-on-the-Hill.

Residents have joined forces to form an action group called SSWAT – (Stop Subsidised Windfarms Around Tamworth) and have dropped leaflets about the wind turbine proposal to around 1,200 homes in the area.

Gaoh Energy wants to install a 60-metre high meteorological mast wind turbine on land next to Austrey House Farm, in Orton Lane.

If approved, the mast will remain there for two years.

The proposal will be decided by North Warwickshire borough planners, and residents have until March 12 to make their views known.

Rose and Steve Steward live in Little Orton, around 650 metres from the proposed site of the mast.

They said: “We are horrified that anyone would propose that an industrial structure of 60 metres in height, with supporting guy wires forming a base of 90 metres diameter, would be positioned in an area of unspoilt agricultural countryside with simply stunning views.”

Residents say that the mast will be visible for miles and they also claim that endangered birds will be put at risk by the structure’s guy ropes.

Mr and Mrs Steward added: “We are calling on all the members of the planning committee to visit this area to fully appreciate the severe detrimental impact that this mast would inflict on our beautiful countryside.”

Damian Gallagher, SSWAT co-ordinator, said: “Our intent is to ensure we maximise the number of people who are aware of the present planning application and try to ensure they offer comment to North Warwickshire Borough Council planning office.

“For our organisation’s part, we are seeking to fight against this present application while preparing for the inevitable following submission for a large scale windfarm.

“The reason for our concern is that we are aware of a ‘Scoping Request’, issued by Goah Energy Limited, which contains proposals for an industrial scale development in the same area as the present application.”

Peter Koziot, who lives in Twycross, said: “The installation of a meteorology mast would only be the precursor to wind farm construction.

“Not only are the height, turning blades, and lights visually intrusive and incongruous with rural and wild landscapes, the blades, generator gears, motors and electrical transformers all make substantial noise.

“From a ridgeline, and especially at night, that unnatural noise can travel quite far.

“The French Academy of Medicine and the UK Noise Association both say that large wind turbines should not be closer than a mile from any residence.”