A TELEVISION star has returned to Dorset in support of a campaign against a proposed windfarm.
Made in Chelsea's Francis Boulle joined the Tolpuddle Against Industrial Turbines (TAINT) group at Waterston Manor today.
The manor was opened to the public for the first time to raise funds for the group and to celebrate 140 years since the publication of Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd.
Renewable energy company West Coast Energy submitted a revised planning application for the wind farm near Tolpuddle last week, with the number of proposed turbines reduced from nine to five and the height of each turbine reduced from 126.5 metres to 115 metres.
But the new plans have not appeased TAINT, which has vowed to carry on fighting the proposals.
Mr Boulle has thrown his weight behind the campaign, and attended a similar event last year.
He said: “I am a big fan of clean energy and obviously we have got a responsibility to develop that.
“I used to be in favour of wind farms but when I started to read more into it I realised what a contradiction they are to clean energy, in the sense of production techniques used to build them and the blight on the country side that they are.
“They are a huge blight on the countryside.
“I am a Londoner but I love the British countryside and I really think it should be preserved.
“I am happy to support TAINT, it is something I strongly agree with and they will hopefully achieve a positive outcome which is for these turbines not to be installed.”
Richard Slocock, of TAINT, said: “Nobody can deny that it will generate electricity, but for the relatively modest contribution they produce it is too high a price to pay.
“These are industrial turbines; they are huge structures that we do not want installed.
“If they are installed it would be a landmark disgrace.”
Katherine Butler, vice chairman of TAINT, owns Waterston Manor and officially opened the gardens at the event along with Mr Boulle.
She said: “The changes that have been made to the planning application are just cosmetic.
“They are 10 metres shorter but they are still horrendous industrial monstrosities, and yes they have reduced the number, but I think one wind turbine is too much.”
West Coast Energy has said the local community would be guaranteed a payment of £5,000 for each megawatt of electricity generated, or 10 per cent of the profts generated from the farm, if the windfarm gets the go-ahead.
Steve Salt, planning and public affairs director at West Coast Energy, said last week: “We are pleased to announce that we have submitted our revised planning application for West Dorset Wind Farm to West Dorset District Council.
“We look forward to a continued engagement with the community as the application progresses through the planning system.”