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Last Updated: Friday, 14 July 2006, 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK
Turbine plans for county's farms
Somerset County Council is looking into how many of its 74 farms could have wind turbines installed.

The proposal forms part of the council's Wind Energy Initiative which aims to achieve 15% of electricity produced by renewable energy.

Sites considered viable will be subjected to feasibility studies and a consultation will be held with tenants.

The proposals are due to be discussed when the county council next meets on 26 July.

The village of Donyatt, near Chard, has more county-owned farms than anywhere else making it a likely site for one or more turbines.

Formal objections

Mike Grabham, a tenant farmer and chairman of Donyatt Parish Council, said he was supportive of moves towards "greener" electricity but wary of whether the village itself would benefit directly from having a turbine.

"If there could be one turbine to generate electricity for the village of Donyatt, then yes, we all want greener electricity but I don't think this is a possibility anyway.

"This will go to the national grid, but it sounds quite nice."

While the county council admitted it intended to sell some electricity to the National Grid, council leader Cathy Bakewell said: "We are looking at trying to use that energy either locally or for the county council's own needs so that we reduce our own demands on the national grid."

If the proposals are given the go ahead, a four-month consultation process will follow allowing farmers to make formal objections.

"There is the ability for the tenants to object to the planning permission on the grounds that it would have a massive affect on that tenant's ability to make a living from the holding," said George Dunn, chief executive of the Tenant Farmer's Association.

Somerset County Council's farm estate includes 74 farms (comprising house, buildings and land), three bare land holdings (comprising land only) and 12 cottage holdings (comprising house, a small set of buildings and a small area of land).




SEE ALSO
Giant wind turbine given approval
23 May 06 |  Somerset
Wind farm firm battles rejection
24 Nov 05 |  Somerset
'Public support wind farm plan'
25 Aug 04 |  Somerset

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