Protestors seek funds to fight fresh battle against Upper Broughton wind turbine plans

Campaign group Voices Against Turbines fly a blimp to show how big a proposed wind turbine is going to be at Upper Broughton.'Members Jane Fraser (left) and Dorothy Chahal are shown. EMN-150720-141315001
Campaign group Voices Against Turbines fly a blimp to show how big a proposed wind turbine is going to be at Upper Broughton.'Members Jane Fraser (left) and Dorothy Chahal are shown. EMN-150720-141315001

Campaigners who oppose a planned wind turbine at Upper Broughton are appealing for financial aid to fight a fresh battle after the applicants appealed a decision by planners to refuse it last year.

The Diocese of Southwell want to erect a 220-foot turbine on land south-west of the Melton Road because it says the church has a commitment to supporting renewable energy initiatives.

The organisation registered an appeal this year after Rushcliffe Council rejected the scheme in November on the grounds that it would spoil an attractive area of countryside and views across the Vale of Belvoir.

It argues this is not the case and that any negative impact on the landscape would be restricted to a small, insignificant area but action group Voices Against Turbines said this week it was determined to strongly protest against the application again.

Members are trying to raise up to £5,000 to help pay for a planning professional to argue their case during the appeal process to take into account new government guidelines last month which emphasise that applicants for renewable energy schemes must have the backing of the community to have a chance of being approved by local authorities and appeal inspectors.

A leading representative of Voice Against Turbines, Jane Fraser, said: “With the changes in guidelines we need to be absolutely sure we go into the appeal with expert opinion behind us.

“It’s very depressing for people in the area because it is more money we have to find to fight it and more anxiety.

“We genuinely couldn’t see why the diocese would want to appeal on the landscape issue after these new guidelines came in so it is a surprise.”

The original protest against the scheme was backed by Rushcliffe MP, Kenneth Clarke, who told the Melton Times that he was concerned about the impact the turbine would have on the quality of life of residents at Upper Broughton, Nether Broughton and Hickling and the dominant position it would take up on the landscape of the Vale of Belvoir.

Anyone who would like to donate money to the Voices Against Turbines appeal can do so at www.voicesagainstturbines.co.uk on its website.

The Diocese of Southwell, in its appeal statement, agree that the stature of the turbine would have some impact on the environment but it argues that the scale has been exaggerated.

The document states that the structure would generate 1,809MWh of electricity every year which would be enough to supply 497 homes.

A section of it reads: “Although the proposed development would become a new man-made element in the landscape, the appellant is of the view that the key characteristics of the landscape and wider countryside would be unaffected due to the turbine’s narrow profile structure.”

Comments can be made to the appeal inspector until July 30 at www.planningportal.gov.uk/planning/appeals quoting the reference APP/P3040/W/15/3028158 or by post.