By Carl Jackson 25/07 Updated: 27/07 00:36
A TWENTY-five metre high wind turbine has been given the green light in Tardebigge.
The structure, which rises to 34.2metres at the tip of its tallest blade, was approved by the Bromsgrove District Council's planning committee on Monday (July 23).
The applicant from Thriftwood Farm, on Holyoakes Lane, said the new electric mill would drastically reduce his reliance on fossil fuels.
Last year the farmer used around 10,000 litres of diesel a month, giving him average fuel costs of nearly £6,700 to power his tractor and crop drier.
And that was in a relatively dry summer and autumn, but this year's inclement weather has seen his drier guzzle up to 500 litres a day.
Also, any surplus energy produced from the new turbine will be pumped back into the national grid, helping the whole of Bromsgrove to meet its targets for greenhouse gas emissions.
Around ten Tardebigge residents, concerned about the negative visual and noise impact on the landscape, amenity and nearby heritage sites such as the Grade II listed Hewell Grange gardens, had formally objected to the proposal.
The Ramblers Association said the structure would detract from the historic value of the 600-mile Monarchs Way footpath which commemorates the route Charles II used to escape to France during the Battle of Worcester.
Coun John Tidmarsh, who voted against the proposal, said: "The location is a delightful spot and you will be able to see it from a long distance away.
"I am not satisfied the alternative of solar panels, which wouldn't have any impact at all, has been investigated enough.
"Wind farms can wipe tens of thousands of pounds off home values."
Fears have also been raised the approval would lead to many more turbines being given the go ahead.
However, committee members voting in favour moved to allay residents' concerns.
Tardebigge ward councillor Peter Whittaker said the turbine would not be heard from more than 150m away and nobody would be living within 500m of it.
He added: "Wind turbines are always an emotive subject, but we have to embark on alternative technology because fossil fuels are running out.
"If we don't address the issue now our children and children's children will have a problem they will have to deal with very quickly.
"People will get used to it and just get on with their life."
Coun Rod Leight said: "This is not the thin end of the wedge and the opening of the floodgates.
"Every single application for a turbine will have to go through this procedure.
"This single turbine will have a massive impact on carbon emissions."
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