Campaigners fighting to ensure the Mendip Hills are not “spoiled” by wind farms are celebrating a victory after planners rejected a bid to build a 95-metre high wind turbine.
Applicant Clearwinds proposed the “community turbine” at Victory Farm, East Horrington, and offered locals five per cent or more on shares in the scheme up to a total of £500,000, which would have brought £25,000 into the community.
But locals who formed AATOM – Action against Wind Turbines on Mendip – were not impressed. They campaigned and there was a storm of applause when members of Mendip District Council planning committee rejected the application.
AATOM treasurer, Keith Brown said: “The same sums invested in, say, investment-graded corporate bonds issued by blue chip companies such as Tesco, would also yield five per cent, which could also be said to be bringing money back to the local community where they trade, with the added advantage of being redeemed in five to ten years, whereas, who knows how long wind turbines might last?
“Twenty-five years is a long time, but what happens if they break down or become too expensive to repair after ten to 15 years?”
Mr Brown, who is finance director for a multinational in the food and drink sector, added: “We have worked very hard at AATOM to make our presence felt so that local people’s views can be heard.
“At the moment we are pressing for more involvement at the planning stage.
“We are all dedicated to making sure our beautiful Mendip Hills remain unspoiled.”
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