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Protesters fight wind turbine plan  

Credit:  Melton Times | 12 September 2013 | www.meltontimes.co.uk ~~

Protesters are facing a fresh battle after plans for a 259ft high wind turbine near Somerby were resubmitted.

Melton councillor for Somerby ward Mark Barnes had withdrawn a previous planning application to install a 79m high turbine on his land at Southfield’s Farm, to the south of the village.

But now he has submitted a fresh application, proposing to move the turbine which would be built on land about 670 metres to the south of Somerby Equestrian Centre.

Among those objecting to the revised proposals are the Somerby Turbine Opposition Plan group and the Mount Group Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) with many of its riders using the equestrian centre as a major part of their therapeutic recreation activity.

A spokeswoman for the RDA said: “If this turbine is approved it will cause a major loss of amenity for some of the most vulnerable people in the Melton borough.

“At the weekends the equestrian centre offers riding to some of our riders whose parents wish them to have extra sessions or who for some reason can’t ride on weekdays when our sessions are run. Some of these also enjoy a hack up the road or down the bridleway path towards Owston.

“As most of these riders have to be led they are vulnerable to changes and we’re worried about the effect such a large turbine will have on them.”

The group also claim if the turbine gets the go-ahead it will put some of its riding programmes at risk.

The spokeswoman added: “Imagine if you had some of our riders’ problems. Suddenly this huge whirling monster arrives which wasn’t there the last time you rode that way. An able-bodied person/rider could rationalise this whereas some of our riders can’t even cope with a change of horse let alone a giant white wind turbine.”

Somerby Equestrian Centre owner and chief instructor Gail Stimson said: “In 22 years of business this is the most stressful thing we’ve had to go through.

“If the turbine goes ahead then 30 per cent of our business will become toxic. We’re not saying it would finish us as a business but it would be very different to what it is today.”

Applicant Mark Barnes said he’d decided to change the turbine position after taking into account peoples’ comments and strength of opposition to his previous application.

He said: “We sat down and found somewhere we thought we could put it in the least intrusive place possible.

“The turbine would be a long way from the riding centre.

“It’s just a minority of people trying to stir things up. Most of the village are fine and I’ve had a lot of support from people who have been fantastic and who I’d like to thank.

“There’s a minority of objectors who, if a turbine was put on the moon, they wouldn’t want it. It’s a single turbine – a few people have really got it out of perspective.”

Source:  Melton Times | 12 September 2013 | www.meltontimes.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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