Dorset wind turbine plan opposed despite reduced numbers

Artist's impression of the turbines Ecotricity wants to build four 394ft (120m) turbines

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Opponents of proposed new wind turbines in Dorset have said they hope planners recommend rejecting a revised scheme, even though it would see fewer built.

In 2009, councillors rejected an application from Ecotricity to build six 394ft (120m) turbines in Silton.

Their ruling went against their own planning officer's recommendation to approve the turbines, which campaigners said would be noisy and too near homes.

A report on a new application for four turbines is due on 15 February.

Chris Langham, chairman of campaign group Save our Silton, said: "Certainly, the problems are the same - the impact on the landscape, the proximity to houses and the noise.

Facebook support

"The new application doesn't address those problems. We have employed consultants who think so, too.

"We are hoping the planning officer's report recommends it for refusal."

But a spokesman for Ecotricity said: "We are confident that the application which we revised after consultation with local people is a good one.

"The nearest turbine will be more than 1km (1,100 yards) away from from Silton Village.

"The location of the wind turbines has been revised - they will sit closer in the landscape."

Some supporters of the new bid have set up a page on the social networking site Facebook.

The "I think wind turbines would look cool in Gillingham" page has so far attracted more than 600 members.

Campaigners opposed to the turbines being built sent nearly 2,000 letters of objection to North Dorset District Council over the application thrown out by councillors in July 2009.

The revised bid will go before a special public meeting of the local authority's development control committee on Tuesday 1 March.

It will be held in the main sports hall at the Riversmeet Community Centre, Hardings Lane, Gillingham.

Councillor Bill Batty-Smith, chairman of the committee, said: "North Dorset District Council has deliberately allowed extra time prior to hearing this application in order that all pertinent facts can be presented and that members of the public, whether for or against, have adequate time to register their opinions."

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