Large wind turbine to be built in Sharpness

Gazette Series: What the turbine will look like at Sharpness Docks, seen from nearby Purton (6216539) What the turbine will look like at Sharpness Docks, seen from nearby Purton (6216539)

A MASSIVE wind turbine almost as high as the London Eye is to be built at Sharpness Docks after permission was granted on Tuesday.

The 122m-high structure will be 40m taller than the current highest building in the dock and is expected to be seen as far away as Bristol and Gloucester.

London-based applicants Partnership for Renewables (PFR) claim the project could generate between 3.285GWh and 5.475GWh of clean electricity a year - equivalent to the electricity usage of between 736 and 1,226 households annually.

It would mean the £2million installation could save anything between 1,412 and 2,354 tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere a year.

PFR have been granted permission to generate electricity from the turbine to the local grid for 25 years, after which it will be dismantled.

The one hectare site is currently grassland to the north of the docks, with the nearest residential dwellings on Dock Road in Sharpness, just over 300m away.

There were over 50 letters of objection to the plan and over 100 for it, with many against complaining about visual impact, noise and disruption and the loss of views.

Hinton Parish Council raised several concerns about the application but was unable to hold a meeting before the development meeting to give an official for or against view on the plans.

PFR’s head of communications, John Mills, said the plans, submitted in 2011, had undergone extensive public consultation and there was a "strong case" for having it at Sharpness Docks.

“It’s a good result because it’s a great project ,” he said.

“We always thought it was appropriate and we have had a good level of support."

Many of the letters in support consisted of a draft letter from PFR that residents signed at the bottom.

Paul Clutterbuck of Oldminster Road was one such Sharpness resident, who added: “I am happy for the turbine to be built and don’t think it will affect my view or standard of living.”

But Ceri Hiles of Oakfield Way in Sharpness said house prices will fall dramatically.

“It will be an eyesore on the landscape,” she said.

“Sharpness is far too small for such a large item to be put in.”

At the development control committee meeting at Ebley Mill, only Severn Cllr Haydn Jones (Con) opposed the application out of the eight-strong committee.

“Having this on the edge of the estuary is the wrong place,” he said.

“I think this is going to intrude on Sharpness. This will be seen from as far as Chepstow and Frampton and on both sides of the river so will have a real impact on a lot of people.”

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