Incompatibility

The proposed constructions are each 100 metres tall! That is to say, more than twice the height of Alfred’s Tower, and much taller than, for example, the Statue of Liberty. Even static they will be visible (as the developer himself freely admits), across all of the Northern Blackmore Vale out to Cadbury Castle and beyond and to Alfred’s Tower and Hardway. They will also be intrusively visible to all the communities of the Vale stretching down in an arc to Bulbarrow and back up the edge of Cranborne Chase to Shaftesbury. These would be among the largest machines installed to date in the UK and bear no relation to benign farms. They have nothing to do with farming, they are industrial units of massive proportions. In addition to their huge and ever present visual impact, these machines create both noise and flicker. At a similar installation in the UK, at Swaffham in Norfolk, where two of the same machines are being held up for our admiration, the local council has been beset with complaints and have categorically turned down the developer’s request for two more at nearby Shipdham, a decision which has been ratified by DEFRA’s own inspector.

All of the foregoing is factual. What cannot be quantified is the effect upon the attractiveness and desirability of South Somerset and the Blackmore Vale as a tourist destination. This whole area – Hardy’s “Land of Little Dairies” - is by all standards unspoilt, without pylons, chimneys or industry. Indeed your council provides generous grants to farmers and others to keep it so. It is visually and in other ways as environmentally pure as we can make it. These turbines will change all that, and for ever, from every aspect. For a radius of nearly 20 miles the view will be scarred! The owner of a holiday accommodation business reports how horrified his guests this Summer have been at the prospect and goes on to say that some who have experience of smaller machines elsewhere have indicated they will not return to the area if this project goes ahead.

It seems perverse that the same council which does such a generous and comprehensive job of promoting the benefits of Tourism in our area should encourage a profit driven developer to erect these machines, which will, in the alleged interest of the environment, in fact destroy it – and for what?