Fierce opposition to turbine plans

PROPOSALS to site a wind turbine in the Gordano Valley green belt have attracted some fierce opposition.

Plans have been submitted to North Somerset Council for a 20kv microgeneration turbine to be sited on land at Kennel Farm in Clevedon Lane, Clapton-in-Gordano.

The farm’s owner, Mr I Tyler, wants to install the 20m structure, with 13m blades, to contribute toward the farm’s energy costs through its electricity generation. This would enable him to recommence dairy farming– an activity he was forced to give up due to it becoming uneconomic.

However, the plans have so far attracted 29 formal objections on the North Somerset Council website, including one from Clapton-in-Gordano Parish Council.

Concerns raised by objectors include the visual impact the structure will have on the valley.

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The parish council’s objection said: “The installation of such a structure would undoubtedly blight the local landscape in an area which is highly valued for its natural beauty.”

Chairman of nearby Weston-in-Gordano Parish Council, Peter Yates-Round said: “I am appalled at the suggestion of installing such an eyesore in such a natural and beautiful environment.”

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Concerns have also been raised about the turbine becoming a distraction for drivers on the nearby M5 motorway. The impact the turbine may have on wildlife is also a concern as is the issue that, if approved, this could set a precedent for other similar applications in the green belt.

James Davis, managing director of Mr Tyler’s planning agent, Apire Planning, said: “We would like to assure local people the proposed development would be a very small microgeneration wind turbine which would have a minimal impact on the surrounding landscape.

“It would be some 250m from the M5 motorway, which would be higher than the turbine itself. This means it would be very difficult to see the turbine from a car and its visual impact from other public vantage points like footpaths would be limited.

“To mitigate any impact on wildlife, we have made sure we comply with Natural England’s guidelines which recommend that turbines are situated at least 50m from trees and hedgerows.”

The application is due to be determined by North Somerset Council by July 11.

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