Commercial wind turbines installed in Wiltshire
Another part of the West is having its first proposals for a wind farm after an energy company unveiled plans for three turbines near Trowbridge.
The wind farm is proposed for land at Grange Farm, between the villages of West Ashton and Bratton in west Wiltshire, and would comprise the tallest turbines in the West.
REG Windpower said it is looking to submit planning applications for the three turbines next year after consultation with locals.
The firm, which built one of the first wind farms in the country, on Goonhilly Down in Cornwall, 18 years ago, has also unveiled plans for more turbines on land in South Gloucestershire. The three turbines are planned on land between the M48 and the M4 at Ingst, close to the junction at which the motorways split.
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The site in Wiltshire, which would be the first in the county, is close to an ancient woodland which is a site of Special Scientific Interest. Despite being the county with the highest average height above sea level in England, Wiltshire has no wind turbines, although a community-owned project was constructed just over the Oxfordshire border in Watchfield, near Swindon.
Honda recently failed to win planning permission from councillors in Swindon for three wind turbines on its car factory site, while wind turbine firms are also struggling in other parts of the West.
Stroud-based green energy firm Ecotricity has been refused permission to build four wind turbines close to the M5 at Berkeley in Gloucestershire, and will go to a public inquiry before a Government planning inspector in the New Year, while Sedgemoor District Council is still to decide on Ecotricity’s plans for four 120m-high turbines, or EDF Energy’s five turbines at East Huntspill, near Bridgwater.
Last week, councillors in south Somerset turned down a planning application for two smaller turbines – just a third the height of the ones proposed alongside the M5 in Somerset and Gloucestershire – at Charlton Musgrove, near Wincanton, which is now set to also go before Government planning inspectors.
Councillors on the Somerset-Dorset border said they would be demanding a full public inquiry to give local objectors the chance to have their say amid fears the decision would be taken out of their hands by inspectors.
“The public feel very let down,” said South Somerset councillor Nick Colbert.