Thousands of “super’ wind turbines more than double the height of Big Ben could blight the British countryside in the future, it has emerged.
The new turbines would be up to 200m (656ft) from the base to the blade tip, compared with an average of 91m for those built last year.
A wind industry task force says Britain should relax planning restrictions to allow taller turbines with longer blades taking advantage of stronger wind at higher altitudes.
Following the lead from Germany and Sweden, the task force claims that relaxing planning rules would help onshore wind to “become the most cost-effective new electricity source by 2020”.
The average height of newly installed turbines in Britain has increased from 74m in 2000 to 91m last year.
Five measuring 149-175m have recently been approved but almost all planning authorities restrict the height to 125m.
The report claims height restrictions in the UK are barriers to the industry making most efficient use of latest technology.
Britain’s tallest turbines are near Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire, and Leighton Buzzard, in Bedfordshire, each of which has a single 149m machine.
Chris Adams, a Ukip councillor in Aylesbury, said: “This nasty monstrosity is going to scar the landscape. You can see it for ten miles around. I’ve had one lady up there crying her eyes out.”
The task force suggests that local authorities should no longer concentrate on visual blight when setting planning conditions but take more heed of the need to meet climate change targets.
John Constable, director of Renewable Energy Foundation, said the task force had failed to account for extra costs.
He added:”This study suggests making life easier for developers by preventing local communities from objecting to ever-larger turbines. That is neither good engineering nor good politics.”
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