A massive wind turbine in the Severn Vale is set to be built after an impassioned debate by decision makers.
After almost an hour of argument over it, Stroud District Council planning committee approved the building of a 122 metre-high turbine at Sharpness.
The applicant said it could provide power for up to 700 homes.
Councillor Haydn Jones (Conservative, Severn) said although not in the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as applications which have gone before, the Severnside landscape has its own value.
“I don’t support this,” he said at the meeting on Tuesday. “I think down on the edge of the estuary is the wrong place.”
He said it ‘has more designations than any where else’ and the old docks is a conservation area.
“There are specific planning guides that say you should not put anything in there which interrupts the view of these sites,” he said. “It’s also a flyway to migrating birds. Having that one turbine there could have massive effect on it.
“I am not against wind power, and not against green power in th right place. I am fully in favour of green power – we should have a nuclear station that will generate a proper amount of electricity rather than the little amount this will.”
The only other similar turbine in the district is at Nympsfield, built after a massive planning battle almost 20 years ago, and around three years ago the council rejected plans for a wind farm at North Nibley.
Stroud District Council’s officers recommended planning permission be granted for the application by Partnership For Renewables Ltd.
Consent was approved, by seven votes to two.
Coun Martin Whiteside (Green, Thrupp) said: “I would support this strongly for reason of generating renewable energy but I would agree that Sharpness is a special and very beautiful place.
“It is very unique. I think that having a turbine will be an asset to the visual amenity.”
Coun Rowland Blackwell (Con, Nailsworth) said: “I have got to support this. I think it’s in an ideal location. It’s a semi-industrial area.
“We have got one on our doorstep on green fields and you look across and you can see it ticking over and there is some cheap electricity there. “And this will provide a lot of cheap electricity.”
After the meeting a PFR spokesman said none of the statutory consultees responsible for concerns raised over noise, appearance and bird migrations objected to the application.
“The dock area is of course a working industrial site, and there is already a tall building close to the turbine location, and officers, supported by the committee, concluded that there would not be a significantly adverse impact on views.”
Strict noise criteria were set which it will have to comply with
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