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Tolpuddle villagers voice concerns over wind farm plans  

Credit:  By Harry Hogger | Dorset Echo | www.dorsetecho.co.uk 16 August 2012 ~~

Villagers have been voicing their concerns over a proposed wind farm near Tolpuddle .

West Coast Energy has held exhibitions in Tolpuddle and neighbouring Puddletown over plans to erect ten wind turbine generators measuring up to 126.5 metres in height to the north of the two villages.

The firm hopes the proposed Milborne Wind Farm will be able to create enough energy to power 14,000 homes.

However villagers were quick to raise objections to the scheme with concerns over the visual impact on the surrounding area.

Richard Slocock, who lives just south of Tolpuddle, said: “I feel that it’s a problem of scale and that they appear to be a tragic intrusion into Hardy’s landscape.

“I think if you live within a couple of kilometres of them it’s very hard to find them attractive.”

He added that he had concerns over the efficiency of wind farms and the ‘threat’ to the countryside being posed by a number of renewable energy sources.

Fellow local resident Richard Howard, who visited the Tolpuddle exhibition with wife Liz to see the plans, also raised concerns over the efficiency of wind energy.

He said: “I don’t believe in it as a sustainable energy source and I don’t think one wants to see ugly things like that in this lovely part of Dorset.”

Planning and development manager at West Coast Energy Matthew Hayes said the exhibitions were a chance for local residents to come and find out more about the proposals before the company submits a planning application to West Dorset District Council .

He said: “We very much believe that this is a good site for a wind farm.

“I’m conscious at the moment there are no commercial wind farms operational in Dorset.”

Mr Hayes said he had received a mixed response in terms of feedback and he was not surprised there was some local opposition.

However he said he was keen to involve the public and listen to their concerns as much as possible.

Mr Hayes added that the local community would have a key role to play in a scheme that will see ten per cent of the annual profits from the wind farm which could be as much as £7million over its 25-year life span – invested back into the area.

He said: “We are very keen to promote this as a community orientated project.

“It’s not something we are obliged to do.”

Source:  By Harry Hogger | Dorset Echo | www.dorsetecho.co.uk 16 August 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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