Villagers oppose plan for 79m wind turbine

A CONTROVERSIAL 79m wind turbine would ‘blight’ a village according to residents objecting to the idea.

Smart Systems Ltd in Yatton wants to build a renewable energy turbine at the edge of land it owns in Arnolds Way.

The aluminium suppliers were granted planning permission to extend its premises and build a turbine in 2007 – subject to North Somerset Council approving more detailed plans on the turbine’s size.

Smart Systems’ initial plan to install a 67m high turbine - and its subsequent appeal – was rejected by the council in 2010 and 2011 amid concerns over its impact on the environment and landscape.

The latest design sees a larger turbine planned, although it will be moved to a new area of the company’s site.

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Smart Systems believes the changes address the council’s previous concerns.

But villagers have reacted angrily to the idea and claim the turbine is not wanted.

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Yatton resident Simon Reakes said it would ruin the village’s appearance.

He said: “Yatton is downwind [of the proposed site] and all the noise will be blown towards the village.

“These things create noise and health problems and a nuisance factor.

“It is planned in an area of countryside where you can’t disguise it with trees. You’d be able to see it for miles around.”

Mr Reakes, who lives less than a mile away from the site, said he understood the company’s desire to be more environmentally-friendly but queried why Smart Systems could not use solar panels instead.

The council has received more than a dozen objections through its website since the revised plans were first aired earlier this year.

The complaints take issue with several aspects of the proposal, including the turbine’s appearance, its affect on local wildlife and concerns that it may lead to further development.

Charlotte Deighton, who lives at the North End of the village, described the turbine as ‘inappropriate’ and would present a ‘serious and detrimental blight on the landscape and local wildlife’.

Their unhappiness has been matched by Yatton Parish Council who said they were ‘very concerned’ by the impact a turbine could have on the village.

Bristol Airport raised no concerns against the project when quizzed by the council’s planning officers earlier this year.

Councillor Annabel Tall has asked for the matter to be debated at a central area committee meeting likely to be on December 13.

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