Farm turbine plans shock neighbours

Appeal to stop wind turbine in Backwell.

Appeal to stop wind turbine in Backwell. - Credit: Archant

A couple living in Chelvey are appealing for people to object to a wind turbine which could be put up less than 250m from their home.

Paul and Linda Elliott, of Burnt House Farm, are concerned about the health risks and noise pollution which they could suffer if the structure is installed at Grove Farm in Backwell.

A planning application for a turbine on the east of the dairy farm was withdrawn last year due to concerns about visual impact and effect on wildlife - particularly the greater horseshoe bat.

The landowner has now submitted a new planning application with the turbine on the western side of his land, but the structure is even closer to residential properties, with four homes less than 270m away.

Mr Elliott said: “We are not against renewable energy but these things have got to be sited with care and consideration for everyone. The fact that it’s less than 250m away is far too close.

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“I’m concerned about the safety and health of my family. The wind turbine could be moving all day every day, making a thumping and swishing noise.

“The noise can cause sleep disorders, high blood pressure, anxiety and aggravate tinnitus, which I suffer from.

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“There should be regulations to ensure wind turbines are installed a certain distance away from residential properties to safeguard people.”

Mrs Elliott has lived at the house for 30 years and said she was shocked that her neighbour would consider putting a turbine so close to their home.

The couple are also concerned about the height of the structure, which will stand at 30.5m.

Mr Elliott said: “We don’t understand why it has to be so big. Why couldn’t he look into solar panels instead?

“If this is passed it will set a precedent. There are so many small farms in the area, we could see them cropping up everywhere.”

Brockley Parish Council and Backwell Residents’ Association have objected to the proposal, due to its proximity to homes, and more than 30 people have objected to the plans online.

But Roger Fortune, who owns E Vowles and Son, has hit out at objectors claiming he just wants to produce greener energy.

Mr Fortune, who lives at the dairy farm with his son and five grandchildren, said: “The Government is asking us to produce greener energy and that’s what I’m trying to do. This is the cheapest way to do it.

“As far as any noise is concerned, the planners have done an independent trial and they won’t hear anything due to wind direction.

“People are worrying about health risks, but electricity pylons pose a much bigger health risk.”

Grove Farm is a dairy farm, which trades under the name E Vowles and Son, and Mr Fortune’s family moved to the farm in 1892.

The planning application is due to be discussed by North Somerset Council’s central area committee in the next couple of months.

Residents can still submit their views on the proposal to North Somerset Council.

The plans can be viewed on its website

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