A record-breaking wind turbine two and half times the height of County Hall which is being built on the outskirts of Aylesbury has been branded a ‘blot on the landscape’ by locals.
The structure, which will be 149 metres tall once the sails have been placed on top, is being put up on land owned by Oxford Diocese between the town’s newest estates of Berryfields and Buckingham Park.
It will be the tallest in the UK, a full 25 metres higher than other on shore wind turbines. Bucks County Hall is 60 metres high while Big Ben is 96 metres tall.
The 2mw turbine – which could provide enough electricity to power around 2,000 homes – was originally part of a dual application for 1,337 homes on land dubbed ‘Quarrendon Fields’ in 2010.
The district council refused the proposals but after developers appealed in 2012 a government planning inspector gave the turbine the green light while rejecting the homes plan.
In a report to councillors at the time, district council planning officers warned the turbine would look unsightly, stating: “The proposed wind turbine given its size and location would be unduly eye catching and dominating to this rural landscape due to the openess and lack of competing structures that exist at present.”
A villager from Hardwick who did not wish to be named said: “It looks like a rocket silo. It’s like Blackpool Tower, slap bang in the middle of Aylesbury Vale. No words can describe it.
“I have spoken to people in Hardwick and not one of them knew a thing about it. God knows what’s happening in Weedon – it’s right opposite them.
“Locally, we were not informed. This is a flagrant breach of planning laws.”
UKIP councillor for the area, Chris Adams spoke about the turbine to a BBC South Today crew this afternoon.
He said: “People are going to go absolutely berserk over this.
“This nasty monstrosity is going to scar the landscape – you can see it for 10 miles around.
“I had one lady up there this morning crying her eyes out.
“There wasn’t a proper consultation where pamphlets were handed out or exhibitions where you could see the plans.”
According to the Sun and Wind Energy magazine, an exemption was obtained by developer Arnold White Estates to build the structure, as ‘strict height restrictions’ in the UK usually limit them to 125m high.
The turbine has been manufactured by Vensys Energy.