Re: ‘Weir power scheme divides community’, Wiltshire Times, November 17.
I read with interest this article on the proposed hydropower turbine at Weavers Mill. As chairman of Mendip Power Group, I attended a site meeting called by Mr Timms on November 4, to bring some practical experience of hydropower generation to the meeting. There were a number of Avoncliff residents present. 
Mr Timms made his claim that “What was a quiet backwater will become a torrent of unbelievable power. Without considering what this means for wildlife, it will divert the main flow of water across the river and cause any swimmer or boat in the vicinity to be sucked towards the turbine – uncontrollably.”
I assured him that this would not be the case, to which he replied, “That is your opinion”. “No”, I replied “It is a matter of physics,” with which others agreed. I explained why turbines need water to approach slowly and that the velocity of the water, would be about 0.5m/sec, in nautical language 1.2 knots. It seems that Mr Timms does not want to accept this fact.
At the end of the meeting, after the others had left, I asked the couple why they objected so much to this project that will generate renewable energy and Mr Timms replied: “I am a poet and I just don’t like it”. It would be better for him to be more honest and say that publicly, rather than try to deploy his incorrect grasp of the facts.
The Timms visited our mill at Tellisford some years ago when they were first concerned about having a hydropower turbine beside their house, and were able to see at first hand that these turbines are quiet and have a low visual impact. They are not something to be afraid of.
Anthony Battersby
Mendip Power Group