Villagers objecting against two wind turbines planned in “idyllic” Rushcliffe landscapes staged a protest meeting to gather support for their cause.
A 102-metre wind turbine, six times the height of the local church, is planned for Upper Broughton, while a another could be built in Elston by the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.
Community action group Voices Against Turbine welcomed hundreds of people to a packed Upper Broughton Village Hall on Sunday.
Dorothy Chahal, 71, of Green Lane in nearby Hickling Pastures would see the turbine, if built, 700 metres from her house.
She said: “When I first found out there was going to be one so near to my house I didn’t even know what a turbines was and I spent three days on the computer finding out.
“I was absolutely shocked that the diocese were even considering this and especially that they were not planning on consulting anyone.”
Mrs Chahal is a member of the Parochial Church Council and learned about the move and said it would earn the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham £5 million over 20 years.
“It’s an embarrassment to think that we are fighting against the church. It’s an organisation that we should look up to,” Mrs Chahal said.
Jane Fraser is one of the activists that formed Voices Against Turbine, and was pleased to see such a large turnout at the meeting.
“We are here to give people the chance to understand more about wind turbines and help them make the decision that they want,” she said.
The group has called upon the support of other action groups including Resist, Revolt and Veto, who attended the protest meeting.
“We are not only concerned because this is near us,” explained Mrs Fraser, of Hickling. “We have looked into the viability of wind turbines and they are just not that efficient.
“People in the villages here do as much as they can for the environment, like install solar panels and ground source heat pumps.
“The turbines would ruin the views not only for us but villages from miles around and the people that visit the area.”
A planning application has been submitted to Rushcliffe Borough Council by the diocese, which says it is promoting a green future.
Rushcliffe council leader Neil Clarke was among the members of the council present at the protest meeting.
He was joined by Rushcliffe MP Kenneth Clarke, who spoke to the visitors of his love of the Vale of Belvoir, where the villages sit.
“The idyllic views in the Vale of Belvoir are among the most beautiful in the country,” he said. “The wind turbine would be a startling landmark. Some people think they are beautiful and awe-inspiring but so is Nelson’s Column – you wouldn’t see that in the middle of a vast area of rural land.”
Mr Clarke encouraged people to air their views early if they want to make a difference.
“What you can’t do is remain silent,” he said. “A lot of people leave it until after the thing is built to raise their concerns but that is too late.
The action groups are hopeful that Sunday’s meeting will convince more people to write letters of objection to Rushcliffe Borough Council’s planning department.
They are also raising £1,500 to fly a blimp at the height of the Upper Broughton turbine to indicate the scale of the proposal.
Chief executive of the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham, Nigel Spraggins, said: “We are committed across the diocese to caring for the environment. The diocese does have to manage its assets well as they are there to contribute to the overall income which is required to employ our clergy.
“We are not maximising profits but we are seeking wise financial management.”
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