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United Kingdom


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Landowners on the Welsh border have seen their attempt to build 14 Tacke turbines blocked by local planners. The application for a wind farm at Reeves Hill by a consortium of four landowners including former President of the National Farmers Union, Sir Simon Gourlay, was turned down by planning authorities on both sides of the border -- mainly through fears of its visual impact. Leominster District Council, which considered proposals for nine of the turbines, says that protection of the environment at Reeves Hill outweighs the government's policy to develop renewable energy. It also says the project would have affected seismic and astronomic activities at Powys Observatory. Despite this setback, the developers are still hoping to proceed. "We are actively examining a number of options, including resubmitting the application," says Gourlay. He is looking at mitigating the visual impact of the wind farm by using shorter towers and fewer turbines. The original scheme ran into a storm of protest and Gourlay accepts that he will need to address local concerns in order to proceed. "A lot of fears were whipped up that were either groundless or greatly exaggerated," he says. "We will have to conduct a proactive campaign to convince people that wind turbines are not the ogres their opponents say they are."

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