AN ABANDONED park and ride site on fields near Yate could become home to the town’s first wind turbine.

South Gloucestershire Council has agreed to investigate placing the power source on land at the junction of Badminton Road and Stover Road.

Local councillor Clare Young (Lib Dem, Westerleigh) said: "Clearly it is important to make the most of renewable energy and for the council to make the best use of its assets.

"Naturally, local residents may have concerns over a planning application near their homes and I will want to know how it affects them."

Cllr Young said she would keep residents whose houses back onto the land from Stover Road and Badminton Road updated on proposals.

The council has £450,000 in its budget for a medium-sized wind turbine on the site, a former landfill tip.

The 50 to 80 kilowatts produced from the turbine would power some of the council’s new £29million headquarters, which is due to be built on adjacent land by 2010.

Ian Webster, the council’s chief financial officer, said initial investigations had looked at erecting a bigger wind turbine.

However, he said: "Residential properties were too close to make the site suitable for a large turbine.

"A medium-sized turbine may be possible and would deliver a meaningful contribution to the overall electrical requirements of the building."

He said issues of noise and shadow flicker would be taken into consideration before a planning application was lodged.

The authority’s cabinet unanimously agreed to appoint an outside partner to look into the project at a meeting on Monday.

Cllr Allan Higgs (Con, Winterbourne) said: "This is not a short-term fix but a long-term programme to provide green energy and one I believe will be supported by the vast majority of the community."

Northavon MP Steve Webb said: "If the council can integrate a wind turbine with the new headquarters in an environmentally-friendly way then that has got to be worth looking at.

"Turbines are only one piece of the jigsaw and every application has to be judged on its own merits."

The council will also investigate seven other sites for wind turbines across the district. Four of the council-owned sites have been identified for multiple turbines and the other three would be capable of housing just one, but the locations have yet to be identified.