May 4, 2015

Wiltshire: The county where giant turbines have yet to set foot

By Western Daily Press | Posted: May 04, 2015 |

Wiltshire is still without any large-scale wind turbines after the latest application for an 87-metre high turbine close to the Somerset border was thrown out by planners.

The wind turbine on Thoulstone Farm at Chapmanslade, between Warminster and Frome, had met fierce local opposition who claimed it would spoil the setting of the countryside around it, which included the famous Cley Hill ancient hillfort site near Warminster.

The Stop Thoulstone Farm Wind Turbine Group called it an ‘alien form of vertical structure’, and group spokesman Tim Page said he was ‘absolutely delighted’ at Wiltshire Council’s planners refusing the application.

Last year, council planners failed in their attempts to include a late amendment to their 20-year strategic plan which put so many planning constraints on potential wind turbines that they would have been effectively banned from everywhere in the county.

Government planning inspectors reviewing the Wiltshire Core Strategy didn’t allow the wind turbine amendment through, but the delay while it was considered created a planning vacuum which allowed around half a dozen developers to win planning permission for around a thousand homes across the county before the Core Strategy was finally adopted.

Since then, the Government issued more planning guidelines which make it increasingly difficult for wind turbines to be built on land.

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