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United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Inspector rules in favour

Western Windpower's appeal to erect one large wind turbine at Nympsfield, Gloucestershire, instead of two smaller ones has been successful and German wind turbine manufacturer Enercon has started work at the site.

German wind turbine manufacturer Enercon is poised to install its first machine in Britain following the success of Western Windpower's appeal to erect a 500 kW unit at Nympsfield in Gloucestershire. "Common sense has prevailed," says Enercon's Dale Vince of the decision to allow a single E40 turbine in place of two smaller machines which had already been granted consent.

Permission for the larger machine was iniitally refused after anti-wind energy group Country Guardian became involved. "Planning officers and all the experts had agreed that one turbine would have less impact than two, but Country Guardian got hold of the issue and it gave a number of local councillors the jitters," claims Vince. The anti wind farm pressure group's warnings of noise, bird deaths and falling house prices stirred up local resistance where there had been little before, he complains. Country Guardian members throughout the country sent 200 letters of objection.

But a subsequent planning inquiry into the plans was not taken in by the campaign:. "I am not convinced that planning permission should be refused for visual landscape effect, a view shared by the officers of the County Council and indeed by some of those advising the local planning authority," wrote the inquiry inspector.

Work has already started on building the foundation for the turbine and Enercon hopes it to be operating before the end of the year.

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