August 8, 2013

Victory toast in five-year wind turbines battle

By ROBIN JENKINS | Gloucestershire Echo | August 07, 2013 |

Campaigners are celebrating winning their five-year battle to stop three huge wind turbines being built near Tewkesbury.

Hundreds of people had fought against Wind Prospect Developments’ plans to site the 126m-high turbines on farmland near Strensham.

And now they are delighted to have seen them off for good, after the Bristol-based company decided not to take the matter any further.

It could have appealed against Tewkesbury Borough Council’s decision in February to reject its planning application for the turbines but has decided not to.

Alastair Smith, Wind Prospect’s senior manager, said: “We were disappointed by the council’s decision to refuse the Strensham Wind Cluster planning application earlier this year.

“We have taken the decision not to progress this development any further.”

That came as music to the ears of members of Strensham Wind Action Group.

“Its spokesman Dave Wallbank said it was “a great relief” to group members and residents generally.

He added: “It’s over five years now since Wind Prospect announced plans to build three wind turbines, each over 400 feet tall, on land between Twyning, Upper Strensham and Stratford Bridge. There are approximately 140 homes less than 1km from the site, some just over 600m away, so it’s not a remote area.

“Hundreds of letters of objection have been submitted against the various planning applications that have been part of this proposal.

“The threat of this development has been hanging over us for more than five years and it’s fantastic to be free from it at last.”

He thanked everyone who had campaigned against what he described as “inappropriate development”. He said the local authorities had agreed with residents that this was not the right location and it was good that people’s opinions had been listened to.

Objectors feared the turbines would blot the landscape and cause noise and flicker shadow problems for nearby residents.

The massive structures would have overlooked the M5 and M50 motorways and some claimed they would even have been seen from parts of Tewkesbury.

In February, Wind Prospect said the renewable energy source would have provided enough electricity to power 3,000 homes for a year.

But councillors refused it after hearing that there had been 279 letters against the scheme and just nine in favour.

Councillors backed their officers’ view that the application should be refused for various reasons.

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