'Our village is ruined': Uproar as Hollywood composer with homes around the world puts up 80ft wind turbine in his farm

  • Man behind Notting Hill and Last Of The Mohicans soundtracks has never even lived at the property

As composer for films including Last Of The Mohicans, Notting Hill and Excalibur, Trevor Jones normally produces work that is easy on the ear.

But he has been accused of creating an awful racket by neighbours of his luxury countryside property after building a giant wind turbine in his garden.

The multi-millionaire Oscar winner and his wife Victoria claim the 80ft structure is an important eco-friendly device.

Trevor Jones

Trevor Jones may be an Oscar-winning composer but his neighbours don't like the racket a wind turbine makes in his garden

But others in the Suffolk village of Laxbridge, who waged a long campaign against it backed by the parish council, argue that as well as producing a deafening sound it is an appalling eyesore.

Among the protesters is ex-BBC royal reporter Michael Cole, the former director of public affairs at Harrods, whose converted barn home is 350 yards away.

‘It has disfigured a pleasant little valley in part of the country that hasn’t changed much in 300 years,’ he said.

‘It is an area that until now has been renowned for its owls and bats and its peace and quiet.

Michael Cole with his wife Jane,their dog Harry on their property in Owls Green, Suffolk with Low Farm behind them.
Blot on the landscape: The giant wind turbine in Trevor Jones's garden. The award-winning composer has never even lived in the house

Michael Cole and his wife Jane in their garden with Trevor Jones’s property in the background and, above right, the wind turbine that has been built in his garden

‘The people who put it up have never lived here and in spite of objections from neighbours they have never taken the trouble to explain.

‘If it is to generate electricity with reduced carbon emissions the equation must take into account the huge volumes of CO2 released in the manufacture, transportation and erection of the turbine.’

Mr Jones, 60, who won an Oscar in 1981 for his score to the short film The Dollar Bottom, also has homes in nearby Southwold; Highgate, North London; Los Angeles and his native South Africa.

He bought derelict Low Farm 14 years ago and has been involved in a lengthy programme of renovation.

The 17th century long-house, in 11 acres of land, is expected to be worth £1.5million when it is finished. Mr Cole claimed the turbine would produce 88 decibels of noise. The sound of heavy traffic is equivalent to 85 decibels.

All eight parish councillors voted against the scheme after hearing objections from 14 locals on the grounds of noise, proximity to a listed building and the height and scale of the turbine in open countryside. No letters of support were received.

Score: Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant in a scene from Notting Hill. The music for the movie was composed by Trevor Jones

Score: Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant in a scene from Notting Hill. The music for the movie was composed by Trevor Jones

Planning permission was granted by Suffolk Coastal Council, which said there were ‘no reasonable grounds’ to refuse it. Mr Jones has never commented publicly on the dispute.

But Ecoexcel, the company which put up the Gaia turbine at a cost of around £75,000, said it would produce enough power to make the property ‘carbon-neutral’.

A spokesman said: ‘The closest property is more than 160 metres away, which is recognised as the distance at which the noise will be no more than the background noise of the countryside.’

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