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Tolpuddle campaigners 'in no mood to compromise' over turbine proposal
CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans for wind turbines near Tolpuddle say they are in ‘no mood to compromise’ despite the developers admitting a revised proposal was on the cards.
West Coast Energy lodged plans for nine turbines, each measuring 126m in height, on farmland to the north of Tolpuddle earlier in the year.
The move sparked opposition from local residents, who formed the TAINT (Tolpuddle Against Industrial Turbines) group, and the energy firm is preparing new plans with fewer machines.
Matthew Hayes, planning and development manager at West Coast Energy, said: “The intention is there to reduce the scheme from nine turbines to five and reduce the height slightly down to 115m to the tip of the blade.”
Mr Hayes said the concerns of local residents as well as feedback from consultees such as English Heritage and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty had been taken into account in the decision to revise the scheme.
However, Richard Slocock from the TAINT group said campaigners would remain ‘vehemently opposed’ to any sort of scheme.
He said: “If it’s five turbines and they are 115m instead of 126.5m, to us that doesn’t really make much of a difference at all. If it was one giant turbine we would still be against it, let alone five.
“Having seen turbines over 100m in Scotland, I can assure you that they are giant and they will not fit into the Dorset landscape at all.
“We are adamantly and vehemently opposed to them.”
Mr Slocock added: “We are in no mood to compromise.”
The original application for nine turbines submitted by West Coast Energy has prompted more than 1,600 representations at dorsetforyou.com TAINT’s campaign against the proposed wind farm has attracted plenty of support, including owner of Athelhampton House and local district councillor Patrick Cooke and the owner of Waterston Manor Katherine Butler.
Mrs Butler hosted an open day in support of the campaign that was attended by celebrity guest Francis Boulle, from hit TV show Made In Chelsea, after the pair had met at a house party in Austria.
She said: “I think the reduction in height is cosmetic when you are talking about 11 metres less than 126m.
“With the reduction in numbers two things alarm me: firstly, one is too much anyway and five is a cluster. Secondly, there is precedent of an application going in for a certain amount and then a latter application going in for more.”
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