PLANS for a controversial wind turbine farm near Tolpuddle have been lodged with West Dorset District Council.

West Coast Energy has submitted a planning application and environmental statement for a proposed nine turbine complex, with machines up to 126.5metres high.

The wind farm is named West Dorset Wind Farm and is proposed for farmland south west of Milborne St Andrew, north of Tolpuddle and north east of Puddletown.

The scheme has sparked opposition from residents who formed a Tolpuddle Against Industrial Turbines (TAINT) group to fight the plans amid concerns about noise, the landscape and health.

Steve Salt, planning and development director of West Coast Energy, said: “We are pleased to announce that we have submitted our West Dorset Wind Farm planning application to West Dorset District Council.

“We look forward to a continued engagement with the community and with the council as the application progresses through the planning system.”

Renewable energy company West Dorset Wind Farm says that over the past six months it has engaged with communities regarding its plans.

It has held a series of public exhibitions and presentations to a number of parish councils and other community groups.

West Coast Energy said that the views of people had helped to shape the final design and number of turbines.

TAINT chairman Richard Slocock said there were concerns about the size of the turbines as well as noises, worries about health and the impact on wildlife.

He said: “As communities we are furious. We do not want them. We have already employed a professional to look at the application. They will be going through it and contesting it point by point.”

Mr Slocock said he expected the district council to refuse the application but said it could go to appeal and then a planning inquiry.

West Coast Energy said it was committed to the principle that communities that hosted wind farms should share in the financial benefits from the local generation of renewable electricity.

If consent is granted for the wind farm the community will receive 10 per cent of the net profits from the wind farm.

West Coast Energy said that over the operational life of the wind farm, the community benefit was expected to amount to several million pounds.

It said the money could be used to invest in local projects and to fund specific initiatives such as assistance to alleviate fuel poverty in the local area.

The company is seeking a partner body which represents the community to set up a legal structure to ensure the money generated by the community’s share in the wind farm is distributed for the benefit of the wider community around the wind farm site.

‘Clean and green power’

IT IS proposed to install nine wind turbines, each with an installed capacity of up to 2.5 megawatts (MW), giving the wind farm an overall installed capacity of up to 22.5MW.

West Coast Energy said that the West Dorset Wind Farm is projected to generate clean green electricity to meet the annual domestic electricity consumption equivalent to around 12,000 homes.

Over its 25-year life, it is estimated that the wind farm could displace around 635,000 tonnes of CO2 that would otherwise have been produced had fossil fuels like coal or gas been used instead. The proposal will also include a wind monitoring mast, substation building, formation of a new entrance junction via the A354, new internal access tracks and a temporary construction compound.