Wiltshire Publications

Plans submitted for wind turbine in Chapmanslade

WILTSHIRECounty Council recently registered the planning application for a wind turbine to be built at Thoulstone Farm in Chapmanslade.

The application has been made by Trowbridge-based Clearwood Energy Ltd, for a  single wind turbine in front of Cley Hill, measuring 53 metres in diameter and standing 87 metres tall. It was registered on Monday 22nd September, and is open to public comments until Friday 24th October.

The turbine proposal met strong opposition at a Chapmanslade Parish Council meeting in May this year, and has produced a ‘Stop Thoulstone Farm Wind Turbine’ protest group. The group claims that over 90% of residents who attended the pre-application consultation objected to the development.

Spokesperson for Stop Thoulstone Farm Wind Turbine, Tim Page said, “We are poised to object in the strongest possible terms to this ill-considered, inappropriate, and subsidy-abusive planning application in an historic and unspoilt piece of Wiltshire countryside, backdropped by Cley Hill, Longleat and the surrounding area of outstanding natural beauty.

“At 87m high, such a structure is the height of a 28 storey building, and totally out of place in that countryside.  The protestations of climate change benefit littered throughout the planning application are laughable for the little dribble of electricity that such a machine may occasionally produce.”   The turbine will be built on active family-owned farmland. One of the landowners, Tony Robinson said, “I live near two turbines and they don’t bother me at all. To claim they are detrimental to the landscape or ugly to look at is just an opinion, and one that I don’t share.

“Really the turbine will take up a minimal amount of room; about ten by ten metres. We will still be able to plough around it and farm the land. Something has to be done about energy, people can’t keep sitting on their laurels putting it off. If a nuclear power plant was built it would be there for hundreds of years, and a solar farm would ruin perfectly productive land. We can get rid of the turbine when it expires in 25 years. We know it’s a windy spot so the turbine will be effective, and have been approached by a number of developers wanting to use the land.”

In May this year, the applying agent Seren Energy Ltd said there would be contributions made to the local community for hosting the turbine; “It is proposed that a sum of £15,000 then £2,000 a year  for the wind turbine’s operational life of 25 years will be paid to the local community or parish council to enable it to support local initiatives.”

For more details or to register your comments before 24th October, visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk and search for planning application 14/08778/FUL.