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Norton St Philip families protest against proposed wind turbine

Protestors angered over plans to build a wind turbine in a village near Frome have won the support of Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans.

Proposals are underway to build a 66m wind turbine at Laverton, near Norton St Philip. In protest a group calling itself No2WindFarm has been created founded by local resident Si Wilcox, who is manager of The Wurzels.

In response to the rash of wind turbine applications the group has released a protest tune called The Mendip Wind Farm Song which has been played by Chris Evans on his breakfast show on Radio Two.

About 200 local people crowded into the Palairet Hall at Norton St Philip to see the plans for the wind turbine proposed by Distgen.

The exhibition was also attended by Mr Wilcox; David Warburton, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Somerton and Frome and local businessman Chris Haynes, proprietor of Haynes Motor Museum.

At the public consultation the action group conducted a straw poll which revealed that 165 local residents are firmly opposed to the scheme. Just three people declared in favour of the wind turbine.

Mr Warburton said: “The public consultation sends a clear message to Distgen and the local land-owner proposing this latest wind turbine scheme. While we know that wind turbines provide an important source of renewable energy, it is absolutely imperative that we preserve the natural beauty of our rural landscape.

“Laverton is an historic, picturesque village and we must not blight the Mendip countryside surrounding it with a man-made structure the height of 15 double-decker buses which can be seen from 30 miles around. As The Wurzels so rightly put it in their Mendip Windfarm Song, They’re noisy and they’re ugly and nobody wants ‘em here.”

Mr Wilcox said the protest had also received publicity from the national media.

He added: “We are delighted Chris Evans is playing the song, he says he wants to see it getting to Number One.”

Representatives from DistGen were available at the exhibition to answer questions from villagers and there was a display and information hoping to dispel some of the concerns expressed by protestors such as health risks to humans and animals.

Distgen said the wind turbine would create clean energy, would have no significant impact on local wildlife including birds, was easy to decommission and was an opportunity for rural communities to exploit resources previously ignored.