November 23, 2012

Wind turbine plans for Bourton

Nicci Brown Blackmore Vale Magazine | November 23, 2012 |

Plans have emerged for another wind turbine application just a stone’s throw from the controversial Silton scheme which was earlier this month refused planning permission after a public inquiry.

The request for an environmental impact screening for two 50-metre turbines each generating up to 700,000 kWh per annum on land at Holly Home, Blackwater Lane in Bourton, near Gillingham, has been submitted to North Dorset District Council by Leicestershire-based Hallmark Power.

The site is owned by local district councillor Geoffrey Miller, who has represented the area on the district council for more than 35 years.

Stephen Bate, planning manager for Hallmark, said: “We are in no way related to the company which made the Silton application, and we are working with the landowner to see if renewable energy, which the government is trying to promote, is acceptable in this form.

“We do not do the size of turbine involved in the previous proposal, and hope that this could be considered more manageable.”

Mr Bate said the local authority would make a judgement on whether it could cause environmental harm, and they expected to hear by the end of November.

“Depending on the outcome of that assessment, it will be at least a couple of months before we are in a position to make a planning application.”

Mr Miller, who fought hard against the Silton proposal on behalf of his constituents, said: “There is no comparison between the two. You may remember that some time ago we got planning permission here for a small 15-metre turbine to power our premises, but it proved to be financially unviable.

“We have since been talking to the company to find something more appropriate, and they came up first with one bigger turbine which I said would not be acceptable. Then they suggested two smaller ones, which will serve the farm and also feed into the grid.

“I think we as a community have a responsibility to do what we can to meet the targets for renewable energy that have been set.”

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