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Wind turbines bid is rejected

Plans for two wind turbines at a farm in Ston Easton, near Wells, were thrown out by planners on Wednesday night.

The application for two 33.5m tall turbines at Whitchurch Farm had been recommended for approval by Mendip District Council’s planning officers.

One member of the public outlined her objections to the proposals, which included the fact that it was an “ineffective site for wind generation,” that they would be put on a site with over 30 listed buildings and scheduled monuments, that they would dominate the landscape and would do nothing to improve the community that would be impacted if they were allowed to go ahead.

Speaking in support of his application Tom Osborne, a third generation farmer, said he hoped the turbines would reduce the costs of running his business by subsidising the increasing costs of electricity.

He said: “The wind turbines are a 25 year project, funded by ourselves, which would benefit not only the farm, but the next generation.”

Councillor Nick Cottle said that while he had sympathy with the farmer, the proposal had received 27 letters of objection and he felt the board had to listen to the view of the people, and proposed the application was refused.

Councillor Damon Hooton suggested the turbines could be painted green and black to fit in with the landscape if they were given the go ahead.

But Councillor John Crossley said he was concerned as the energy generated would benefit only the farmer and not the wider community.

However, he noted that as the conservation officer had not raised objections, the board should approve the application.

But Councillor Andy Denison noted the cumulative effect of a number of turbines on that area of the Mendips and pointed out the effect they were having on the landscape.

Councillor Nigel Taylor said that when the sun reflected off the blades of the turbines they looked like “tin foil being dangled in front of me”.

The application was refused by 11 votes to six.