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95m wind turbine proposed at farm on edge of Mendip Hills

Plans for a wind turbine on the edge of the Mendip Hills near West Horrington are being prepared.

The proposal for the 95m turbine – around the same size as the turbine at Shooters Bottom near Chewton Mendip – has come from Hampshire-based green energy company ClearWinds.

The single wind turbine would be on land at Victoria Farm, West Horrington, close to the Slab House Inn.

A rival wind energy company has already presented an application for a similar wind turbine at Warren Farm just over a mile away.

No application has yet been presented for Victoria Farm.

ClearWinds said it is undertaking public consultation and so far this has involved the distribution of a leaflet to neighbours.

Once the consultation is complete the company will then prepare and submit an application to Mendip District Council for planning permission.

William Clare, of ClearWinds, said the company would try to spread the financial benefits of a turbine at Victoria Farm as widely as possible. Homes close to the site would get a share of the gross operating revenue, while a community fund would be set up receiving a cash sum every year.

Mr Clare said: “This would be across the board and not an effort to buy support.

“Local councils, groups and residents would get the payments whether they supported the application or opposed it.”

The proposal is for a single wind turbine with a maximum rated capacity of 2.3MW for a duration of 25 years providing power for 1,432 homes. The turbine will have a maximum hub height of 60m and a tip height of up to 95m.

The proposed turbine development area is between Wells and Shepton Mallet to the south and the B3139 Bath Road and B3135 Rosemead Road crossroads to the north, about a mile west of West Horrington and Haydon.

Neighbours have written to ClearWinds with a list of concerns – not least being the company’s statement that the turbine is at Shepton Mallet – a detail one described as “entirely misleading”.

Mr Clare said that this was an error by ClearWinds.

ClearWinds said it has chosen the site at Victoria Farm after considering a range of “technical, environmental and planning criteria”.

Considerations used in the selection of the site, included the amount of wind available, electrical connections, availability of land, site access, location of environmental designations, telecommunications, and aviation issues.

The consultation says: “The site is not located within any areas designated for their environmental sensitivity.”

ClearWinds said that Mendip has agreed that an environmental impact assessment would not be required.

Instead a series of separate reports and studies will be commissioned.

It added that its assessments of noise and “shadow flicker” indicate that the turbine would be produce levels well within current standards.

Neighbours of the site have held private meetings to discuss the proposals and decide on what course of action they should take with regard to the wind turbine application, if any.