Rights of way officers have objected to plans for a 50 metre high wind turbine in the Shropshire countryside – over worries it might “spook” horses using a nearby bridleway.
The officers say the building of the 500kw turbine close to West Felton, near Oswestry, which would have a tip height of 77 metres, would make the bridleway unusable.
Energy firm York Green Renewables has lodged the application with Shropshire Council for land at Wigmarsh Poultry Farm at Holly Lodge, West Felton.
The firm says the turbine would allow the farm to reduce its carbon emissions, increase its self-sufficiency in terms of electricity production and gain a reduction in energy bills.
A planning statement from the firm says the application is in line with Government ambitions to reduce energy consumption and adds: “This installed capacity will also help to contribute towards regional targets for renewable energy generation for 2020.
“The turbine will generate sufficient electricity to cover approximately 65 per cent of the total energy consumption of the premises.”
But an objection has been made against the application by Shropshire Council rights of way officer Mat Stephens.
He says: “Bridleway 11 abuts the entire western edge of the development site and is within a short distance of the proposed turbine.
“I understand that although this route was at one time reasonably well used by horse riders as well as pedestrians, its condition has deteriorated in recent years and at times been obstructed, and use has declined significantly as a result.
“Nonetheless it is an important link in the local network, particularly for equestrian users, and recent neglect and temporary obstruction does not detract from this.
“It would be reasonable to conclude that the siting in such close proximity to the right of way would effectively make this bridleway unusable for many and may pose a danger to those that attempt to use it with horses that are not accustomed to turbines.
“There would also be a potential danger from structural failure and/or collapse.”
Shropshire Council hopes to decide the application by December 20.
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