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Avonmouth wind power project

Wessex Water has been granted planning permission to install four wind turbines at Bristol Sewage Treatment Works in Avonmouth.

Each turbine would be capable of generating up to 3MW of electricity, which is the equivalent power that more than 6,000 households use.

Following the decision by Bristol City Council in March 2009 to approve planning permission, Wessex Water is now looking into the next stages of developing the project.

Environmental Impact Assessment

An Environmental Impact Assessment was carried out between 2006 and 2008 by independent experts who investigated all of the matters that were identified by a scoping study. The results are shown below.

Ground conditions

There are low levels of contamination in parts of the site, so excavation works could disturb contaminants.

Any contaminated soils disturbed by works will be removed. Local watercourses will be protected from contamination by use of normal pollution prevention guidelines and industry best practice standards.

The landscape

The landscape is dominated by industrial development, set against the open backdrop of the Severn Estuary and the Welsh coast.

The turbines will be noticeable in views over the estuary from elevated viewpoints such as Kings Weston and Lawrence Weston, although views will be filtered by existing buildings within the wider industrial panorama.


The site includes an area managed as a nature reserve by AWT, to which only members have access. The reserve supports locally some important plant and animal species. Land-take for the wind turbines is small, and they have been sited to protect badgers, water voles, reptiles, great crested newts and invertebrates during construction. Measures are also proposed to enhance the wildlife and educational value of the site.


The site is close to the Severn Estuary Special Protection Area (SPA), which is of European importance for its bird interest. The lagoons and reservoir in the nature reserve support birds; and intensive surveys over two years found some locally notable species using the site and others flying over. Some birds for which the Severn Estuary is designated also use the site.

One of the turbines within the nature reserve was relocated to avoid a known flightline and construction works will be timed to avoid sensitive periods. Once operational, the effect of the wind turbines on birds will be carefully monitored.


Wind turbines can disrupt radio, television and telecommunications reception and transmission.

One mobile phone link and some radio links may be affected by the wind turbines. Wessex Water is working with the operators to find a way for the wind turbines to operate without interference to the links. Television services are unlikely to be affected.

Air traffic

The only likely impact will be on Filton Airfield radar.

Wessex Water is working with Filton Airfield to find the best way forward to remove radar interference before the turbines start to operate.

Archaeology and cultural heritage

Shallow buried remains (Romano-British) and buried peat deposits (Bronze Age) have been found elsewhere at Avonmouth.

Thee site will be surveyed prior to any work starting. Any remains found during development works will be carefully recorded by archaeologists.

Highways and traffic

Development will temporarily increase local traffic movements during construction and long vehicles will be used.

Construction traffic will be routed via St Andrews Road to avoid residential areas and delivery of long loads will be timed to avoid congestion. Operational maintenance will cause minimal traffic impact.


Athough wind turbines are not noisy, construction work can cause noise nuisance.

The assessment found that neither construction, nor operation of the wind turbines, will cause significant noise.

Hydrology, hydrogeology and water quality

The site is in an area that could be flooded from the Severn Estuary.

All electrical equipment will be raised above the flood level and any increases in surface water run-off will be managed to allow natural infiltration or evaporation.

For more information about Avonmouth wind power project please contact us on 0845 600 4 600 or download our wind turbine leaflet here.

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