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Discontent in the air over wind farm plans  

Credit:  28 March 2013 | www.viewfrompublishing.co.uk ~~

Hundreds of individuals, and organisations, have objected to plans for nine wind turbines near Tolpuddle.

The site, which developers West Coast Energy hope will become the county’s biggest windfarm, has proved controversial with a series of public meetings sceptical about the claims being made for the site.

The company, which is based in Wales, has scaled down its original application for ten industrial turbines each almost 400 feet tall, moving the machine which would have been closest to Athelhampton House.

Prominent among the objectors are the local protest group, TAINT, and the Dorset branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

West Coast Energy claim that, when the wind blows, the site could produce enough power for 14,000 homes, a third of all the power needed by homes in West Dorset.

But opponents have questioned the claim and argue that Dorset can reach its renewable energy targets without the need for a single turbine.

Dorset CPRE say that the turbines would dominate the landscape and distract drivers on the nearby A35. The group also claims that the development would breach the Government’s recently agree National Planning Policy Framework.

“We are worried about the effect this development would have on nearby residents and the consequences for tourist attractions such as Athelhampton House and the Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum. We are also concerned about the distraction the turbines could cause for drivers using what is one of the major routes through the county,” said CPRE chairman, Richard Nicholls.

West Coast Energy say each turbine would be 126.5metres to the vertical blade tip, with a height to the hub of 80m and each the rotor blade 46m in length. Each machine would be capable of generating 2 to 2.5 Megawatts at maximum output.

Their statement says there is no statutory natural conservation designations; no protected species on the site and that the area “benefits from a high wind resource making it ideally placed”.

If approved by West Dorset planners construction is expected to take eight months, with around 90 “exceptional” loads for larger parts. It proposes to bring most of the machinery into the country via Southampton docks and then to the site by road.

Planning committees at North Dorset and Purbeck will consider their approach to the application in the coming week as the site can be seen from both of their areas.

West Dorset District Council, who will make the final decision, have yet to announce when they will meet to consider the application.

Source:  28 March 2013 | www.viewfrompublishing.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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