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Parish councils and MEP back anti-wind farm campaigners  

Credit:  By Marion Sauvebois, Gazette, www.gazetteseries.co.uk 21 March 2012 ~~

Activists campaigning against the erection of a wind farm on green belt land near Olveston have been backed by two parish councils and one Member of European Parliament.

The Olveston Wind Farm Action Group (OWAG), which was initially set up by Ingst villagers to fight developer REG Windpower’s plans to build three “intrusive” 126-metre turbines by the M48, has received pledges of support from Olveston and Aust Parish Councils as well as MEP for the South West and Gibraltar Ashley Fox.

Olveston councillors distributed a survey through the village prior to their decision and found that out of the 772 residents who returned the questionnaire, 662 objected strongly to the wind farm development.

An Olveston Parish Council spokesman said: “The response was staggering. It was agreed that the council would support the parishioners’ views and oppose the application once it is received by South Gloucestershire Council.”

OWAG chairman Ian Thompson said the turbines’ detrimental impact on the landscape would extend far beyond Olveston and Aust as they would also be visible from Almondsbury, Pilning and Northwick.

The next step, he said, would now be to rally the support of other parish councils in the area.

Aust councillors also announced last week that they would be formally objecting to the application.

Chairman Cllr Mike Hawkins said: “We had a village meeting and it was very clear then that our parishioners were opposed to it. We are therefore going to oppose it too as a council.”

The action group also reached out to South West MEP Ashley Fox, who visited the proposed wind farm site.

Mr Fox said: “The turbines are far too close to local homes and the noise they generate will make residents’ lives a misery.”

Olveston Parish Council’s survey, however, was based on misleading information provided by members to their electorate, according to REG development manager Sophie Hartfield.

She said: “We were grateful to Olveston Parish Council for approaching us while preparing the survey to ask for our input. When we were presented with a final copy of the leaflet we submitted corrections via email.

“Unfortunately they did not respond to our request to see the final version prior to printing. Had they done so, we could have assisted to ensure they had up to date and accurate information.

“The end result has been a one-sided survey which fails as a robust examination of views.”

Source:  By Marion Sauvebois, Gazette, www.gazetteseries.co.uk 21 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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