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Police’s 145ft wind turbine scheme rejected

Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s hopes of building a 145ft wind turbine at its Portishead headquarters has been thwarted after North Somerset Council denied the force planning permission.

Planning officials ruled it would be ‘unacceptable’ and ‘inappropriate’ to install the large structure near the police’s base in Valley Road.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said the turbine would save the force money in the long-term, however the scheme attracted almost 100 objections.

North Somerset MP Dr Liam Fox said it would ‘blight’ the Gordano Valley if given the go-ahead.

North Somerset councillor David Jolley said: “I know this will come as a great relief to the majority of residents I consulted and others who treasure the landscape and greenbelt status that Portishead Ridge enjoys.”

The authority’s planning officials said the turbine would have had an ‘unacceptable impact’ on those living nearby due to its height and the movement of the blades.

They also felt it would harm species of birds, bats and newt which live near the police’s headquarters.

Ms Mountstevens, when asked if the police would appeal the ruling, said: “It is only right local people have been consulted and given the opportunity to have their say on the wind turbine proposal and how they feel it might impact them and their local area.

“At my forum in Portishead last year, I acknowledged that although planning permission had been submitted it may well be declined.

“Despite this, the constabulary and I remain committed to playing our part in reducing our environmental impact, using our resources wisely and making sure that our budget is being spent as efficiently as possible.

“Renewable energy and our long-term sustainability are important issues for us all to consider in protecting our environment and resources both today and for future generations.”