Wind farm in Thornbury would plague all nearby parishes, Rockhampton leader says
HISTORY is repeating itself as a turbine could be erected close to a controversial wind farm project in Oldbury that campaigners fought hard to see turned down, a parish chairman has said.
Rockhampton Parish leader Cllr Tony England has hit out at plans for a 77-metre turbine at Pound House Farm in Thornbury, approximately two miles from the site in Stoneyard Lane where developers set out to build four 127-metre high wind turbines but lost on appeal back in 2012.
Rockhampton councillors along with Oldbury and Hill members had argued that the scheme would destroy the area's character and cause immeasurable long-term harm.
They were backed by a planning inspector who found that the industrial-size development would have a major impact on the surrounding parishes' picturesque rural landscape and the adjacent Grade II* listed St Oswald Church.
Rockhampton Parish Chairman Cllr Tony England told the Gazette: "Although it is much smaller than the Stoneyard Lane wind farm, in some ways it will be more visible because it will be stuck up the top of the hill.
"To me it seems that all the points the appeal inspector made in his report about why Stoneyard Lane should be refused are equally valid in this particular case.
"The appeal inspector was very strongly of the opinion that the impact to the local rural surroundings outweighed any benefits of renewable energy. It does affect a number of surrounding parishes, Falfield, ourselves, Hill and Oldbury to some extent."
He added he did not feel the application should be considered any differently from any other lodged by a developer.
"I am told the predicted output is at least ten times the consumption of a dairy farm of this size and so it is primarily a commercial wind farm project, costing well over £1 million."
The farm owner John Sprackman applied for permission for the turbine to allow him to run a self-sufficient business and avoid being at the mercy of continuously growing electricity prices.
Alarmed by the proposal, a majority of Thornbury councillors formally objected to the 77-metre pole.
The turbine would stand on reinforced concrete foundations of 12 by 12 metres on the 240-acre Pound House Farm land. It would generate 500KW of electricity.
The farm rears 250 bulling heifers each year and has a herd of 200 cows, producing over two million litres of milk annually.
A worker on the farm told the Gazette last month the energy produced by the turbine would allow Mr Sprackman to update equipment to automated milk stations and increase efficiency.
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