Swindon Advertiser – Wind turbines in the limelight of Wyvern stage

Swindon Advertiser today ran an article about the latest development in the Honda Wind Turbine development story

THE Wyvern Theatre will host a very different kind of cabaret next month as members of the council’s planning committee take to the stage.

It has been selected as the venue for a one-off meeting to decide whether to accept plans for three giant wind turbines at the Honda site at South Marston.

The proposals have sparked a groundswell of public anger, with the last meeting being called off for safety reasons because of too many protesters trying to cram into the council chamber.

So the 635 capacity theatre, more accustomed to hosting plays and musicals, will be used instead – and it promises to be ‘quite a show’ said one campaigner.

Andy West, 44, who lives at Kingsdown Park, near the proposed turbines, is worried yet more space will be needed.

“The last meeting had to be deferred because they couldn’t fit them in, and with the Wyvern I think they’d be struggling to fit the people in,” he said.

“Take all the people at the last meeting, all the people who didn’t sign in, and then you’ve got council officers and committee members. You’re up to 600 before you start.”

Ill Wind, the group campaigning against the turbines, is still calling for people to turn up.

“As long as people can participate in what’s going on it is fine. What we don’t want is a situation where the council is trying to close the door on hundreds of people outside,” said Andy.

“It should be quite an interesting day, I would have thought. It’s going to be quite a show.”

Although the venue and date have not been formally rubber-stamped, planning committee chairman Dale Heenan (Con, Covingham and Nythe) said it was expected to be September 8.

Security will be present on the evening, and doors open at 5pm. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Speakers will be able to hold the floor for up to three minutes, but with more than 30 registered speakers at the last meeting, it looks set to be a long night.

Marketing manager Gina Banks, 44, of Highworth Road, said: “I’m not surprised. I think it sends a very strong message to the council, so many people are concerned about this application. For me, this isn’t an argument against Honda, Ecotricity, or wind energy. The issue is the proximity to our houses of this application.”

The wind turbines will be the only item on the agenda.

It was 10 years ago that the council had to use the Wyvern as a meeting place. Then it was also for a planning meeting to discuss Wichelstowe.

The Wyvern did not have anything booked on September 8, so no performances had to be cancelled or moved.

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