Dorset

Wind turbine protesters win Dorset councillors' backing

Artist's impression of how the turbines will look from Manor Farm in Silton
Image caption The wind turbines will generate electricity for more than 6,200 homes, according to developers

Protesters campaigning against a plan to build wind turbines near Gillingham have won the backing of councillors.

Two years ago 1,987 people wrote to the council to object to plans to put six 394ft (120m) turbines in Silton.

Developers Ecotricity have revised the plans and now propose four turbines, which village group Save Our Silton (SOS) say will "ruin the landscape".

Ecotricity says Dorset is completely reliant on other counties for power and needs to establish its own.

If built, the turbines would be the tallest man-made structures in Dorset.

Gillingham Town Council and Pen Selwood Parish Council have unanimously voted to recommend the application be refused.

They are concerned about noise, the impact on wildlife and tourism, and the effect on television and radio signals.

'Clean electricity'

They also think the turbines would be too close to homes, distract motorists and are concerned Roman remains could be disturbed by digging concrete foundations.

Mike Cheshire, spokesperson for Ecotricity, said: "Our months of environmental studies and 15 years of wind speed data from various sources show that this is a good site for wind energy.

"[It] will generate clean electricity for more than 6,200 homes and stop 8,800 tonnes of CO2 going into our atmosphere every year for its 25-year life - that has to be a good thing.

"Dorset is one of the only counties in England almost completely reliant on other areas of the UK for its electricity, so desperately needs more secure sources of energy of its own."

Objections to the wind turbines at Silton must be received by North Dorset District Council by 20 August. A spokesperson for the council said it had already received about 300 objections.

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