Controversial wind turbine gets go ahead

A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build a 430ft wind turbine less than a mile from hundreds of homes in Broxtowe has been given the go ahead.

Councillors narrowly voted in favour of Severn Trent’s plan this week, despite nearly 90 per cent of nearby residents objecting to the plan.

The turbine is set to be built in the Erewash Valley, 750m from houses in Awsworth and 765m from Giltbrook, which residents with fears over their health, TV interference and ‘visual pollution’, argued was too near.

Paul Howard, representing the residents, said: “This application is all about money and shareholders and little to do with renewable energy.”

Of the 321 letters sent to residents, 282 objected and just 17 approved.

The turbine, which will generate power for Severn Trent’s sewage works at Halls Lane, Giltbrook, will tower above the grade-II listed Bennerley viaduct.

Broxtowe borough councillor for the ward Mick Brown called it a ‘rape of the countryside’. He said: “Once they have got their foot in the door the Erewash Valley will be awash with these.”

But renewable energy manager from Severn Trent Martin Dent argued that the turbine will keep the firm’s prices the lowest in the UK for customers.

“This is a good development for the area and will help safeguard the interests of our customers,” he said.

Following a visit to turbines near Mansfield, councillors on the planning committee were divided.

Cllr Brian Wombwell said: “Regarding the view, any view is subjective. If we don’t put this in greenbelt, where on Earth are we going to put it? The objections will be raised anywhere.”

But Cllr Craig Cox claimed the carbon used to construct the turbine would never be offset by the small amount it generates. He added: “With 88 per cent of residents opposing this, we would be doing those people an injustice.”

Cllr Lydia Ball also raised concerns about ‘shadow flicker’, when the sun casts long flickering shadows from behind the turbine onto people’s homes, which could trigger fits in people with epilepsy.

After a long debate, the committee voted five in favour and five against, with chairman Cllr Steve Barber having the casting ‘yes’ vote.

The decision will be passed on to the Government as it requires special permission to be built in greenbelt.