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Councillors raise concerns over wind turbine development
FEARS have been raised by councillors over a wind turbine development that could lead to ‘open season’ for Dorset.
Puddletown parish councillors voiced strong concerns at a meeting over the proposed nine-turbine complex.
It is proposed for farmland south west of Milborne St Andrew, north of Tolpuddle and north east of Puddletown.
Unanimously objecting to the West Dorset Wind Farm, they said it would impact on tourism, local amenities and travel.
A ‘punchy’ letter addressing the concerns will be sent to West Dorset District Council, which will decide whether the West Coast Energy development will go ahead.
Jan Hopkin, councillor for Tolpuddle, said the turbines would have an ‘unacceptable and overbearing impact on the landscape’.
She added: “Our village has conservation value, with several listed buildings, visited by thousands of tourists and school groups.
“We do not want the backdrop of an industrial icon.”
She raised concerns that, after the proposed 25 years, concrete and cabling would be left in situ, leaving a permanent legacy on the landscape.
She asked: “Will this proposal, if accepted, lead to open season and further industrialisation to this part of Dorset?”
Richard Slocock is chairman of the Tolpuddle Against Industrial Turbines (Taint) group.
He told councillors: “There is very strong feeling in this village overwhelmingly against this proposal.”
West Coast Energy has said that if planning permission is granted, the community will receive 10 percent of the net profit.
But villagers raised concerns that the ‘community benefit’ is not expected to kick in until year 15 of the 25-year scheme.
Others said they believed the turbines would actually have a detrimental effect.
Councillor Patrick Cooke, of Athelhampton House, said: “I will do anything I can to resist this.”
He added that he had no problem with a property having a domestic turbine, but that the villagers could not be sure of any benefit they would receive from the industrial wind farm.
He said: “I don’t know why we have to put up with something like this just to add energy into the national grid.”
Chairman Stephen Buck added: “You can see these things from 20 miles away – the site would be 120 metres high.
“It would be a total desecration to this area.
“It would ruin an awful lot of Dorset, you would be able to see them from Portland, Bere Regis – anywhere with any height.”
Turbines to supply 12,000 homes
WEST Coast Energy proposes to install nine wind turbines which it says will generate clean green electricity to meet the annual domestic needs of 12,000 homes.
It estimates the wind farm could displace around 635,000 tonnes of CO2 that would otherwise be produced using fossil fuels.
The proposals also include a wind monitoring mast, substation building, formation of a new entrance to the A35, internal access tracks and a temporary construction compound.