Wiltshire Publications

‘Alien’ wind turbine rejected by Wiltshire Council

THE application to erect a wind turbine on land  near Thoulstone Farm was refused by Wiltshire Council last month on the grounds that it would have a “significant and detrimental effect on the character of the landscape”.

The planning application was submitted in September last year. A protest group called Stop Thoulstone Farm Wind Turbine was formed to voice the fierce opposition from local residents.

Spokesperson for the group, Tim Page said, “It is a victory for common sense, good judgment by the planning authorities, and of localism in action.

“Over 90% of local people polled in Chapmanslade, Corsley and Upton Scudamore were against the proposal; all of the surrounding parish councils, the local county councillors, Wiltshire and Somerset CPREs and the local MP were all equally opposed to it.

“People realise that    erecting a single turbine is an exercise in fleecing both the taxpayer and the electricity bill payer of their hard-earned money behind a false story, hysterically delivered, that it might be somehow saving the planet from man-made global warming.”

The 87m (285’) structure would have interfered with the surrounding area and its heritage, the planning officers found.

The official decision said, “The introduction of a tall strident, imposing, dominant, alien form of vertical structure, emphasised in its scale and presence by the movement and sweep of the rotor blades, would be at odds with the key characteristics of the landscape which sees few vertical features.

“As such the dominance and uncharacteristic nature of the proposal would have a significant and detrimental effect on the character of the landscape, the setting of the AONB [Area of Natural Beauty] and would cause considerable harm to views both towards and from Cley Hill which is a dominant feature in the wider landscape.”

The council was also dissatisfied with the information provided regarding the noise the turbine would make and its impact on the local historic environment, nor did they believe that the application had been  undertaken in accordance with Historic England’s published guidelines.

A contact at applicant Clearwood Energy Ltd declined to comment on the decision and did not confirm whether or not they would appeal.