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Erith homeowner shocked when 285-foot wind turbine appears near his house

Imagine the shock if one day you looked out of your bedroom window and a giant 285-foot wind turbine had appeared.

This is exactly what happened to Slade Green homeowner Graham Saunders on Thursday (September 27) afternoon.

Forty-four-year-old Mr Saunders, who lives in Snipe Close on the Howbury Estate, initially thought his eyes had deceived him when he saw the turbine, which is the height of 20 double-decker buses.

The print finisher said: “I got up on Thursday morning and there were cranes and such out there and at 2pm in the afternoon all we could see was the wind turbine.

“As the crow flies it’s about 300-yards away from our house.

“It really is in your face and it’s going to be there forever – no local residents have heard about it at all.

“We didn’t exactly have a skyline to begin with but now all we have is a wind turbine.”

Besides the intrusive nature of the energy-saving turbine, Mr Saunders is worried about the impact it will have on the value of his house, which he owns.

He added: “If we want to sell the house and prospective buyers come round to view it, the first thing they will notice is the giant wind turbine outside.

“I doubt that will be a selling point.

“If the council came back down and said you will save money on your electricity then great, but it’s just one company decided they want to save money.”

Mrs Saunders, who lives with his wife and children, said another worry is possible noise pollution from the turbine when it is turned on.

Permission to build the 500kw turbine, which is located on the site of Aggregate Industries Ltd in Manor Road, was given by Bexley Council’s development control team on May 22.

A Bexley Council spokeswoman said: “Consultation did take place but not as far away as where Mr Saunders lives, as there is no requirement to do so. A site notice was also displayed.

“A planning application was submitted and approved, in accordance with the legal requirements, for this area of industrial land between Manor Road and the River – which had previously been earmarked as being suitable for such use.”

Estates manager for the Aggregates Industries Erith facility Robert Westell said: “During the planning process for this turbine we completed a number of studies and assessments to ensure that the site was suitable for a turbine of this scale.

“We submitted a detailed planning application to Bexley Council and following a period of statutory consultation, we received planning consent in May this year.”