A SWINDON supermarket wants to prove it is not full of hot air when it comes to the environment by putting up three 10m tall wind turbines.

The Tesco store in Ocotal Way has applied to the council for planning permission to put up the turbines, which are expected to generate enough power to supply the needs of 12 houses.

But some residents are sceptical.

Martyn Dickinson who lives near the store said: “They have had cranes down there all week, which is probably to do with this.

“The whole thing sounds like a clever marketing stunt to me.

“This is just how they operate and no one is big enough to take them on.

“Because they are making it green, people can’t say anything against it without looking anti the environment. But what is going to happen to the power they produce?

“It is all going to go back into running their lights and tills for free, making them more profit.

“They fly the green flag when it suits them, and everybody goes along with it.

“But they have lorries going up and down the service road outside my house all day and night.

“My children get woken up by the lorries every single night.

“Tesco is all about profit over people.”

Tesco spokeswoman Melanie Chisholm said: “This is part of our commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of our existing stores by 50 per cent by 2010.

“We have reviewed our existing stores and distribution centres to find suitable sites.

“The wind turbines are second generation vertical turbines, different from the three bladed ones.

“They are similar in height to a lamp post, fitting in well with the surroundings and very quiet.

“Each turbine generates 6KW, enough to power four households, and reduce carbon emmisions by 24 tonnes a year.

“What proportion of the Swindon store’s power could be generated by the turbines would depend on the size of the store.”

The turbines are being rolled out at several Tescos stores across the country.

The supermarket confirmed that extensive tests had been carried out to make sure the built up central Swindon site was windy enough to generate green-power.

The turbines will be positioned within the supermarket car park in the best position to catch prevailing winds.

They will be located 10.6m, the same distance as the height of the turbines, away from the road and buildings.

They will also be at least 50m away from the nearest homes.

Wherever possible they will be kept away from mature trees, that could have a “wind shading” effect stopping the turbines from working at their maximum capacity.

Tell me what you think
Derique Montaut said he would wait to hear the views of residents living near the supermarket before deciding where he stands on the issue of wind turbines.

Coun Montaut (Lab/Central) said: “I was aware of the planning application, but I haven’t had any representations by local residents on this matter.

“My response to the council will be dependent on the reactions of local residents.

“In terms of environmental issues, I think wind turbines are the direction we need to go into. But the environment and quality of life for people who visit the area, and residents of the area, is very important.

“At this stage I’ll have to wait and see how people feel.”