A hard-earned victory against a wind farm developer turned sour for villagers when the firm failed to clear out from Oldbury as planned.
People living in Hill, Rockhampton and Oldbury were baffled to discover on August 23, the deadline by which Wind Prospect had to remove its wind data equipment from the site, that its 70-metre meteorological mast was still towering over the field by Stoneyard Lane.
They got in touch with planning bosses who told them that due to unforeseen delays the mast would not be removed until September.
It was the last remaining trace of the company’s thwarted attempts to erect four 127-metre high turbines on the grounds.
Hill Parish Council chairman Cllr Thomas Jenner- Fust, who campaigned for years against Wind Prospect’s plans, told the Gazette locals were outraged.
“There has been some outrage in the area,” he said. “We were all surprised to see it standing. We all knew they would leave it out until the very last moment because the wind data is valuable to them commercially.
“Now it won’t come down until September. It shows very little respect for the planning system.”
The met mast was placed on Hill Lane back in 2010 by Wind Prospect to gather wind data necessary to back its planning application.
Cllr Jenner-Fust added: “It’s quite visible. It’s 70 metres high. Everybody was excited about not having to look at it anymore. It’s been two years. If they can’t even take their pole down goodness knows what they would have been like at running a wind farm.”
Wind Prospect lost its appeal to build four turbines in Stoneyard Lane back in January.
Permission for the project had already been refused in March 2011 by South Gloucestershire councillors on grounds of visual impact but the company fought the ruling asking for a public inquiry to take place.
The government inspector leading the hearing upheld the local authority’s decision.
Jonny Murphy, development manager at Wind Prospect, said: “The met mast at Stoneyard Lane will be removed during the week commencing September 10. This timescale has been agreed with the South Gloucestershire Council, the local planning authority.”