Opposition mounts against plans to build 67-metre wind turbine near Crewkerne
Thursday, February 07, 2013
More than 100 letters of objection have been lodged against plans to build a 67-metre wind turbine near Crewkerne.
Farmer and parish councillor John Wyatt wants to build the turbine at Highlands Dairy Farm, Hewish.
The turbine will comprise a 40-metre tower, with blades adding a further 27 metres at the highest point in their rotation. It will be funded by Coombe Farm, a local dairy supplier.
His plans have attracted much opposition from people who believe the structure would ruin the local countryside, create noise pollution and set a precedent for more turbines in the future.
A protest group has been set up called West Crewkerne Against the Wind Turbine to focus the efforts of communities who object to the plans and has started a petition online.
A spokesman from South Somerset District Council, which will decide the fate of the application, said that no date for a decision has yet been set.
In last week’s Western Gazette, Clapton resident Geoffrey Harfield spoke in support of the application, arguing for the benefits of renewable energy and that wind turbines can add to the aesthetic of the countryside.
But opposition campaigner Matt Doble said: “We can understand how swarms of turbines may look beautiful to Mr Harfield when viewed against a backdrop of the industrialised flats of the Elbe estuary or the already ravaged skyline of the Spanish Costas.
“We, however, are concerned about the incipient desecration of our beautiful Somerset countryside, our main asset, within which the proposed turbine would be both disproportionate in scale and alien in structure.
“We are in agreement with the need to develop alternative sources of power but our vision extends beyond merely jumping on to the currently most profitable bandwagon.
“Better surely to adopt a more considered approach with the aim of selecting the most acceptable forms of renewable energy in fully appropriate locations and thus also preserving for future generations a landscape worth inheriting.”
The West Crewkerne Against the Wind Turbine website has had more than 150 registrations of objection.
At January’s West Crewkerne Parish Council meeting, councillors recommended approval despite protests from more than 40 residents.
Applicant Mr Wyatt also attended the meeting.
He said: “I speak to young people in the village and they are all worried to death about the future and what will happen when the power runs out.
“I have been to visit wind turbines and you barely hear a sound from them from 600 metres.”
Mr Wyatt will receive money from Coombe Farm for the use of his land and will have access to some of the energy generated from the turbine.
Becky Jam, from AH Warren Trust, the owners of Coombe Farm, said: “The turbine complies will all regulations, noise and otherwise.”