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Go-ahead for wind turbine taller than Nelson’s Column  

Credit:  Wells Journal | March 21, 2013 | www.thisissomerset.co.uk ~~

A 54m high wind turbine has been given the go-ahead and will be built at Warren Farm, Masbury.

The turbine, towering higher than Nelson’s Column will be built just a stone’s throw from the Iron Age hillfort Maesbury Castle, near Wells.

Mendip District Council had refused the application back in July last year, but Brian Ingham of Windberry Energy Operations Ltd, who submitted the plans, appealed against their decision.

On March 12, the appeal was allowed and planning permission is granted.

The turbine will generate enough electricity to power a small village and stand two metres higher than the famous Trafalgar Square landmark.

The environmental benefits – saving an annual 3,654 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions going into the atmosphere – helped Shepton Mallet Town Council and Ashwick Parish Council to back the scheme, along with a dozen supporters.

Previous concerns came from English Heritage, who believed the wind turbine could adversely affect the visual impact of Maesbury Castle and recommended it was thrown out, as did Croscombe Parish Council, St Cuthbert Out Parish Council and Bristol Water.

Following Mr Ingham’s appeal, a planning inspector visited the site to see if the wind turbine and associated infrastructure – including a new 31m access track, a crane pad and a housing cabinet – would be suitable, before making a decision.

The main issue was to see if the benefits of the proposal outweighed the harm to the setting and the significance of Maesbury Castle.

In his report, the inspector wrote: “The proposal would cause less than substantial harm to the setting, and thereby the significance, of Maesbury Castle. That harm would be reduced further by the temporary nature of the proposal.

“The proposal is promoted on the basis that it will endure for 25 years.”

Source:  Wells Journal | March 21, 2013 | www.thisissomerset.co.uk

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