A GROUP tackling a giant wind turbine proposed for Uttoxeter has hit back at plans to reduce its size by the company behind it.
Uttoxeter Wind Turbine Action Group and Uttoxeter Rural Parish Council have blasted Aggregate Industries and AGRenewables announcement that they are reducing the turbine size from 87m to 78m.
The announcement came after the company said it listened to the concerns of residents following a consultation before it submits a planning application at the end of this month.
Tom Ollerenshaw, chairman of both groups, said: “So the turbine would now be only the height of a 32 storey block of flats and not a 35 storey block or a bit less than the height of Big Ben.
“They are however unwilling to comment on the question posed which is: ‘Are you doing this because your original supplier has gone into administration and you are having to change the turbine model’?” He added that a map has been published by Aggregates which shows the extent of the landscape devastation which could be caused.
The map shows the proposed turbine position as a red spot, with the green areas showing the places where the hub and blades will be visible and the blue shades show where only the blades will be visible.
Mr Ollerenshaw said: “Aggregate Industries has tried to ridicule the 100sq miles of devastation cited by the Council for the Protection of Rural England, East Staffordshire.
“It seems however that this was a much too conservative estimate.
“This too, remember, is the applicant's map which we believe, following our analysis, understates the position.
“As you can see the affected area is huge. It stretches north to and beyond Ashbourne into the Peak District encompassing huge parts of the Staffordshire Moorlands, east to Burton, west to Blythe Bridge, the whole of Uttoxeter and to the south of Uttoxeter as far as Cannock Chase.
“Vast numbers of towns and villages would be blighted forever. Remember this is the applicant presenting the best case scenario. This turbine is no respecter of county boundaries, district boundaries, town boundaries or parish boundaries.
“The population affected runs into tens of thousands.” Last week The Advertiser reported the preapplication consultation period for the proposal has closed and the company has reacted to concerns over the potential visual impact of the turbine by reducing the maximum tip height.
To give residents what the company say is an accurate idea of what it would look like if constructed, a series of photomontages from different viewpoints in the local landscape are available at www.aggregatewinduttoxeter.co.uk
Aggregates also stated the results of the noise monitoring carried out for the proposal confirmed the turbine would be within the limits of nationally recognised noise guidelines and efforts to aid the development of sports pitches are on-going.