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Controversial wind turbine in Coleford thrown out

Plans for an 86-metre win turbine were blown away yesterday.

Entrepreneur Ronald Kear saw his proposals for a mast at Poolway Farm in Coleford rejected by Forest of Dean councillors.

More than 350 letters and a 500-signature petition were sent to the council objecting to the scheme – and those residents got their way.

Speaking at the Development Control meeting, campaigner Jean Wilson, a member of protest group Dean Forest Crosswind, said the project should never go ahead.

“This is a strategic open space close to a hospice, public footpath, a golf club and houses,” she said.

“This cannot be an appropriate place for a structure taller than Gloucester Cathedral.”

She added: “The objections from local people have been expressed in their own words in hundreds of letters.

“The overwhelming impression from those comments is of a strong unified community that cares deeply about Coleford.”

Mr Kear, speaking at the meeting before the decision to reject the plans were made, accused the council of being against renewable energy.

“We are obviously disappointed with the recommendations for refusal,” he said.

“From our first meeting in 2010 with the council we were led to believe they were forward-thinking with regards to renewable energy.”

He said the site at Poolway Farm could easily sustain the biggest model of on-site turbine but that he had deliberately chosen a smaller medium-sized type.

He had planned to pump a share of the profits back into the community, but councillors said the only person to benefit from the turbine was himself.

Councillor David Thomson said: “It’s an improvement for one person through everyone else paying their electricity bills and it is to the detriment of everyone else around it.”

Councillor Maria Edey said she was worried about such masts catching fire or falling down.

One lone councillor, Gethyn Davies, did support the application saying people “had to see the bigger picture”.

He said: “People in Coleford pay someone from the outside for their electricity and as soon as someone wants to do it from the inside and from within the town, they don’t want it.”

The turbine was refused by 14 votes to one.