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Villagers in Olveston invited to meeting to comment on wind farm plans

Controversial plans for a wind farm near Olveston will be laid out for villagers at an exhibition this Saturday.

Developer REG Windpower, which is hoping to erect three 126-metre turbines on green belt land by the M48, is inviting locals to attend the open meeting at the Olveston Parish Hall and judge the project for themselves.

Although the scheme has been deemed too intrusive by activists from Olveston Wind Farm Action Group (OWAG) and the members of no fewer than three parish councils, REG is determined to convince a majority of people of the benefits of renewable energy.

Sophie Hartfield, project developer for REG Windpower, said: “Last year we received a lot of useful comments at our exhibition but we realise that not everyone has the time to attend an exhibition so with this update we wanted to invite everyone to give their views whether they can join us at the exhibition or not.”

Since the last exhibition in September 2011, the firm has completed various wildlife surveys, flood risk, heritage and noise assessments as per Natural England, South Gloucestershire Council and other national bodies’ request, to ensure the industrial development encroaches as little as possible on its surroundings.

The firm has also pledged to put aside £4,000 per mega watt produced for the community, which could amount to half a million pound over the next 25 years – provided the turbines are given the green light by planning bosses.

Yet, although the proposals have received a measure of support in and around Olveston, according to REG Windpower, a vocal portion of residents and their representatives have blasted the scheme.

OWAG campaigners are categorically opposed to ‘intrusive’ turbines being erected on green belt land and so close to locals’ homes.

Chairman Claire Barnard, from Elberton, said: “We will go along to it. We will be interested to know what the new developments are. We will talk to people and make sure they have a balanced view and that they hear both sides.

“OWAG believes that the turbines are far too big for their location, so close to people’s homes and Olveston Primary School.”

The group has been backed by Pilning and Severn Beach, Olveston and Aust Parish Councils over the past few months, who have vowed to support their constituents and fight the plans.

The exhibition will take place on Saturday, September 8 at Olveston Parish Hall (9am-12.30pm).

Those unable to attend can leave their comment on the website www.m48windfarm.co.uk