There's Nothing New About Renewable

Renewable Energy in Bottesford - Past and Future

The Past

Until the 19th century renewable energy from wind and water mills was vital to the economy of the Vale. In 1086 Bottesford had six water mills, but this was reduced to two by the 17th century. The oldest and longest surviving of the water mills was Easthorpe Mill which continued working into the mid 20th century. The other water mill, on the Dorking Poor Farm, about 50 yards up-stream from the church, was a ruin by the early 1700s.

Wind power gradually replaced water power. Normanton windmill, which stood on Beacon Hill, survived from the 18th century until about 1850. Around 1800 Top Mill was built alongside the canal. Two further mills, one on Queen Street and one on Belvoir Road (Mill Lane) were working in the 19th century.

Sedgebrook water mill (also known as Muston mill) served Muston from the 14th century. It was finally dismantled in 1960. The ruins of Stenwith windmill, close to Muston, survived into the 20th century.

The Future?

Renewable energy company Ridgewind are applying for planning permission for 8 wind turbines (approximately 300 ft to blade tip) to be sited on the fields East of the Beacon on the area crossed by the bridleway to Allington.

The Planning Inspector refused the appeal by Infinergy to site 10 turbines (approximately 400 ft to blade tip) at Thackson’s Well on the grounds that ‘the Vale is unusually rich in the number of historic assets, and especially so in the historic significance of visual relationships between them and their surrounding landscape.’ We understand that Infinergy are not now planning to contest this decision.

This page was added on 08/01/2009.

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