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Historic sites under threat from turbine says heritage group

A 99.7-metre wind turbine proposed for land near Ellesmere will have an impact on multiple heritage assets, English Heritage has said.
In a letter sent to Mark Perry at Shropshire Council on June 20, Ross Brazier, assistant inspector of historic buildings and areas at English Heritage, said the location and scale of the turbine, proposed for land to the east of Ellesmere Road, would have an effect on nearby heritage assets including two canal bridges (60 and 62), a cottage near bridge 62, the British Waterways buildings and Hardwick Hall.
The turbine, an Enercon E-53, was submitted by Intech Clean Energy UK on behalf of local agricultural business Seven Sisters. It has a rotor diameter of 53m and measures 73m to the hub.
Mr Brazier wrote: “We consider the proposed turbine will cause harm to the above assets and the level of harm caused to be less than substantial, however we consider the cumulative impact to be greater than the harm to any one individual asset.
“As heritage assets are irreplaceable, any harm or loss should require clear and convincing justification. We would therefore strongly recommend that you rigorously test the necessity of any harmful works.
“The harm to these designated heritage assets should be considered when determining this application and when weighing up the level of harm against the public benefit of the proposal we ask you to not only consider the individual, but also the cumulative impact of the proposal on the historic environment.”
Nicol Perryman from Intech Clean Energy UK said the company understands any harm would be less than substantial according to English Heritage, adding: “English Heritage says it’s less than substantial in their agreement and according to their report that is satisfactory. There are heritage assets in the vicinity but if there was any impact it would be minimal.”
l Meanwhile, the governors of Ellesmere College have registered an objection to the turbine with Shropshire Council. Headmaster Brendan Wignall, writing on behalf of the school governors, said: “This wind turbine is inappropriately situated in that it has a significant visual impact on the local environment.
“Visual impact is both individual – the turbine in itself has an impact – and cumulative, in that from the location of Ellesmere College it adds to the number of wind turbines that can be seen clearly,” he added.