Residents had the chance to air their concerns over plans for a new wind turbine at a pre-planning application meeting in Dinder last week.
The 100 metre high turbine has been proposed for Maesbury Quarry in the Mendip Hills.
Civil engineer Neil Truphet was at Dinder Village hall to represent the investors, TUK, and canvass local opinion.
Mr Truphet said: “The driving force is the national interest. To reduce our dependency on fossil fuels.
“The wind turbine at Maesbury Quarry would generate green energy for the equivalent of 480 homes without emitting any carbon dioxide.”
However, residents at the meeting were less convinced.
William Sanders-Crook of Maesbury said: “I don’t think wind farms really work. They are not efficient. These people are in it as a business, just for money. And at our expense.”
The fear most commonly expressed by those at the meeting was that along with the turbine at Shooters Bottom this was the thin end of the wedge.
Chris Langdon of Chilcote said: “One at a time is like a wind farm by stealth. If we want 15 wind farms then lets decide now rather than one at a time.”
There was some confusion as to planning policy concerning wind farms.
Local resident Jenny Henderson said: “I am worried about such important issues for the country’s future being in the hands of amateurs such as parish councillors.”
Mr Truphet attempted to allay these concerns: “The limiting factor is the capacity of the national network to carry the additional generation. It would be very expensive for Western Power to increase capacity.”
There was a feeling it would be difficult for the council to refuse planning permission as the proposed site sits roughly a mile outside of the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Ferelith Drummond said: “You are either an AONB or it’s open sesame.”
However Mr Truphet said that each scheme would be looked at individually.
“The worry has been that there will be a hillside full of these things. That’s not on our agenda.”
To put something back in to the community TUK propose supplying free electricity to the not for profit shop in Croscombe.
However, once Mr Truphet learned that none of those present ever shopped in Croscombe he said other suggestions would be welcome.
Matthew Burnell of Haydon, near Wells, was unimpressed: “The community does not really need anything. Anything else seems like a bribe.”
Further consultation will take place in due course. If you live in the area and you wish to contact TUK email TUK@dwdlip.com.
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