Crucial report awaited by West Ashton wind farm campaigners
Campaigners against a proposed wind farm at Grange Farm in West Ashton are waiting to hear what a government inspector thinks of Wiltshire Council’s Core Strategy.
The planning inspectorate’s report is expected to be submitted to the council imminently, with the Core Strategy including restrictions on the proximity of wind turbines to housing.
Wiltshire Council made a last-minute amendment to the strategy last year, specifying the need for a minimum distance of 2km between homes and turbines greater than 100m tall.
However, the planning inspector told the council to re-open consultation on the issue following pressure from local campaign groups, including the Wiltshire Clean Energy Alliance, and the policy may not be approved.
Heywood man Ian Welch, who is involved with the Stop Grange Farm Wind Farm protest group, said: “It’s really worrying people as if the wind farm goes ahead it will dominate the area for miles around, as well as creating noise and affecting property values.
“It’s near several villages and while Grange Farm carries a West Ashton postcode, the wind farm would be visible from Bratton, Heywood and Hawkeridge. People from Westbury would also be able to see it.
“I believe it will be a very important issue in the Ethandune by-election as residents need to elect a Wiltshire Councillor who will provide strong leadership and support in the fight against the wind farm.
“The developers of the site have already got a wind-testing mast in place. It is now just a case of waiting to see whether the Government inspector accepts the council’s proposals.”
If the inspector does accept the council’s amendment to the core strategy, the 130m high turbines proposed for Grange Farm would likely fall foul of planning policy.
The nearest homes to the turbines proposed by REG Windpower are within one kilometre, less than half the stipulated minimum set by the council.