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‘Vast majority’ against proposals for Severn Vale wind farm  

Credit:  By Louis Emanuel | The Bristol Post | April 25, 2013 | www.thisisbristol.co.uk ~~

A planning application for two wind turbines near Olveston has received an unprecedented amount of objections.

Campaigners are highlighting the 594 letters sent to South Gloucestershire Council’s planning department complaining about the size and proximity to houses of the turbines.

REG Windpower submitted their application for the planned 130-metre masts near Ingst in December. The council is currently mulling over the decision.

A site visit is due tomorrow for planners to get an idea of the potential impact of the turbines.

Claire Barnard, chairman of Olveston Windfarm Action Group, said Olveston parish councillors had not previously seen such a volume of objections to a single planning application.

She said: “Out of the 664 letters sent over the application we have worked out that almost 90 per cent are objections.

“Residents and industry bodies have criticised the position on a green-belt conservation area and the distance of 400 metres to the nearest homes.”

She said that she believes the wind farm would be able to power approximately 1,000 homes while affecting adversely more than 1,000 close to the Severn Vale site. However, REG dispute this claim.

OWAG is planning to meet inspectors on their visit to the site tomorrow.

Campaigners are hoping to make known their feelings about the project.

Ms Barnard said an Olveston Parish Council survey had an “overwhelming response rate of 46 per cent”, with a result of 14 per cent in favour of the development and 86 per cent against.

In December, two aviation organisations said building a wind farm near the Severn Bridge would be like “erecting a tower block in the middle of a busy, ultra-fast motorway”.

The UK Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the General Aviation Awareness Council believe the turbines at Ingst, between Aust and Olveston, could have a serious effect on flight safety.

The organisations sent a letter to South Gloucestershire Council after being contacted by worried local pilots.

The GAAC and AOPA claimed that the wind turbines could create a risk as the proposed site is at the intersection of two heavily-used aviation routes.

The organisations said pilots use the River Severn, M4, M5 and M48 as navigational features.

Recently the police helicopter unit based at the former Filton airfield submitted a letter asking for lights to be attached to the blades of the turbines.

Campaigners say that attaching lights will cause more objections.

OWAG claims that the benefits of the project are exaggerated and that local objection is strong.

The group’s official objections to the project focus on the size and noise of the turbines and their visual impact on the land.

OWAG also disputes the relevance of the turbines, which would provide energy for 2,600 homes.

REG Windpower denied the group’s claims and said that the turbines would contribute to a more-reliable mix of energy sources in the area.

The company said that the site is ideal and one of a limited number of possible places to build a successfully-operating wind farm.

Visit www.m48windfarm.co.uk for more details about the proposals.

Source:  By Louis Emanuel | The Bristol Post | April 25, 2013 | www.thisisbristol.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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