Protesters voice Chapmanslade turbine objections
5:00pm Friday 2nd May 2014 in By Andy Baber, Senior reporter for Trowbridge
Protesters turned out in force to show their opposition to a proposed single wind turbine at Thoulstone Farm in Chapmanslade, at a consultation event held by developers on Monday.
The wind turbine plan, which was put on display at a drop-in event at St Phillip and St James’ Church, is being proposed by Seren Energy and will be 87 metres high with blades 53 metres in diameter.
Seren Energy says the scheme is being developed with the Welch family at Thoulstone Farm, with the family owning 80 per cent of the scheme and Seren Energy owning 20 per cent. However, villagershave set up a group to oppose the turbine, which they believe will blight the views of, and from, Cley Hill, as well as causing noise disruption and danger to wildlife.
Tim Page, spokesman for the Stop Thoulstone Farm Wind Turbine group, said: “The noise is a big problem. They are also not useful in terms of energy production and are not very CO2 friendly.
“We are not against renewable energy, but it needs to be in the right place.
“Cley Hill is an iconic setting and this wind turbine would spoil the views. Also if this was to go ahead there would be nothing stopping them from putting more up.”
Mr Page added that the opposition group has more than 200 registered supporters, including residents in the nearby parishes of Upton Scudamore and Corsley.
Chapmanslade resident Mary Medhurst said: “I haven’t come across anyone who is for this proposal.”
The wind turbine proposal could be the first to benefit since the planning inspector ordered Wiltshire Council to remove a planned minimum separation distance between housing and wind developments in its core strategy.
Director of Seren Energy Steve Hack said: “We were pleased with the turnout.
“Lots of people were clear that they didn’t like it and if anything I’d say they were in the majority, but people who are clearly for something like this are less likely to come along to an event like this.”
He added that Seren has proposed to pay £15,000 as an initial community fund payment and £2,000 a year for the wind turbine’s operational life of 25 years to the local community or parish council support local initiatives.
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