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Protest over plan for wind turbine for Crewkerne countryside

By Western Gazette - Crewkerne  |  Posted: January 17, 2013

OPPOSITION GROUP: Hewish residents fear a proposed wind turbine on a site within the parish will spoil the look of the countryside and generate too much noise to sleep. They held a protest at the site on Sunday

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Residents fearing for the Crewkerne countryside held a protest on the potential site of a 67-metre wind turbine on Sunday in an attempt to urge the landowner not to go through with the application.

Farmer and West Crewkerne parish councillor, John Wyatt, wants to build the structure on his land at Highlands Dairy Farm in 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.

At this month’s West Crewkerne Parish Council meeting, councillors recommended approval, despite protests from more than 40 residents.

Matt Doble, who lives 600 metres from the site, said: “The community is outraged about this. The beautiful landscape that we enjoy will be ruined by this construction – it will be visible for miles around.

“They also cause a constant droning noise which will ruin the tranquillity of the area.

“I am concerned this could lead to many more turbines in the local area in the future on the same site.”

But Mr Wyatt 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.

“All those who objected are quite old and don’t have to worry about these sorts of things, but my 18-year-old daughter in particular is worried and knows we need sustainable energy sources.

“I have been to visit wind turbines and you barely hear a sound from them from 600 metres. At the meeting, some of my neighbours were very rude. We’ll see how they cope when the power goes out and the Russians come and take over.”

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 WarrenTrust, the owners of Coombe Farm, said: “We have worked with professional advisers to ensure the best spot for a turbine and this was it.

“We have taken into consideration all factors including disruption to the community, which is why during construction access will be across Coombe Farm land, avoiding the village of Hewish.

“The turbine complies will all regulations, noise and otherwise, so, although we do understand this is a sensitive issue to residents, the council had no reason to object.

“Although we have no current plans to build more turbines on the site, we are always looking for alternative energy opportunities, so ‘never say never’.”

Crewkerne Town Council recommended refusal for the application because of the impact on visual amenity, worrying the turbine could be seen from the Bincombe Beeches Nature Reserve.

A decision is due to be made by South Somerset District Council, which meets on Monday, January 28.

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  • Marcus_Barret  |  January 23 2013, 8:33PM

    The bigger issue here is the comment from Coombe Farm that the door is left open on a decision for (possibly many) more of these wind turbines... is this one machine actually a stalking horse..? That is something which must be considered. The debate on the Hewish Turbine continues on Facebook... do have our say... https://http://tinyurl.com/bcwavbx