Opponents of plans to build a wind turbine near Shropshire’s Wenlock Edge beauty spot gathered at the site to promote their cause.
Edge Renewables has applied to Shropshire Council for permission to build a turbine in Lea Quarry, near Much Wenlock, saying it would be assembled and disassembled for training and accreditation purposes.
But members of the Protect the Corvedale group say the 52 foot (16 metre) turbine – which goes before councillors next week – would ruin the area.
Shropshire landowner William Cash said: “This is an area of outstanding natural beauty, and this sends out the wrong signals about what is wanted for Shropshire.
“The amount of people who came to support the group is just a fraction of what the community feels.
“This is a question of the wrong development in the wrong place.
“The opinions of the local people must be respected. Wenlock is full of heritage and has a big tourism attraction for Shropshire and it should remain unspoilt.”
The group claims the turbine would be a “blight on the landscape” and affect local wildlife, including birds of prey.
Among those at yesterday’s protest was John Jones, from Brocton, who owns many birds of prey. He came along with his four-year-old American Harris Hawk.
“We all have concerns that disused quarries have helped a lot of falcons,” said Mr Jones.
“They use the quarries to breed and teach their young to fly. If a huge mechanical wheel is whizzing around with young birds trying to fly or learn to fly it could really harm them.”
Protect the Corvedale said the group was not against renewable energy but was felt this application would ruin a part of South Shropshire.
Peter Cameron, from Brocton, said: “The problem with the proposal is that it will not have any impact on National Grid. It would not even be able to power eight vacuum cleaners.
“We do not have anything against renewable energy, it’s just this structure, which will blight the landscape, and when one turbine is erected there could be many more.”
The application has been recommended for approval.
In a report, case officer Grahame French said the need for such a training facility could be justified as an extension of Edge Renewables’ energy activities.
“Views towards the proposed turbine would be very limited”, he added.
Mr French said while objections had been received about the effect on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty there would not be any adverse effect on the appearance.
Originally two turbines were planned by Edge Renewables. But it now wants to put one at the site in Lea Quarry, near Much Wenlock, and says it would be assembled and disassembled for training and accreditation purposes.
Much Wenlock Town Council had opposed the initial application, but is now behind the new scheme.
And Much Wenlock Civic Society, represented by Vivien Bellamy the local historian have previously said the development lay in an environmentally and scientifically sensitive area.
The plans have also been opposed by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, which claims approval would seriously compromise the nationally important landscape character of Wenlock Edge.
Edge Renewables occupied Lea Quarry as a tenant in late 2011 and acquired the site in December 2012.
The application will be discussed on Tuesday, January 13 at 2pm at the Shropshire Council planning committee meeting at the Shirehall.
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