Opposition is growing to plans to build a wind turbine as tall as Big Ben on the outskirts of the city.
Applicant Distributed Generation Ltd wants to harness the wind to produce clean energy and sell it to power up to 600 homes on a site next to the motocross track off junction 6 of the M5, as we previously reported.
But opposition has intensified to the proposal, being heard by Wychavon District Council planners later this month, with experts saying there is not enough wind to warrant construction.
Resident-led Tibberton Action Group (TAG) has now joined Tibberton, Hindlip and Martin Hussingtree and Warndon parish councils in objecting to the plan.
The applicant says the average wind speed in the area is enough to generate more than enough power for a commercial operation.
But one opponent, writing to object, branded the turbine a potential “white elephant”, while other critics have told the district council the application is “too speculative”.
David Campbell, TAG member, chartered accountant and a retired engineer, said the proposed site was “totally unsuitable for a wind turbine because there is simply not enough wind for it.
“We are seriously concerned that, if it is allowed to go ahead, it will become an expensive, enormous white elephant.”
He said the sheer size of the turbine – up to 100 metres, base to uppermost blade tip – had to be considered with the height of the ridge upon which it would be located, which is a further 20 metres above the surrounding ground.
“It seems opportunists are being attracted to wind power because of the short-term profit opportunities available from unsustainable, unaffordably high Government-subsided tariffs,” he said.
Prof Ray Smallman, of Tibberton, a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, has written objecting to the plan saying it was a “Wychavon white elephant”, and that the height was “exceptional”.
He said: “The insignificant contribution to electricity generation does not justify the noise pollution it will create.”
However, the applicant says noise would make no difference because of that already generated by the motorway traffic.
The Bristol-based power firm also says the turbine would cut CO2 emissions in the area, and provide additional income for the Apex Motocross bike track helping secure its future.
It is also proposing to offer the parish council five per cent of the turbine’s gross annual income, for the whole of the scheme’s commercial life and residents could buy shares in its operation.