September 29, 2006

Wind farm battle won

Protesters are celebrating after winning a two-and-a-half-year battle against a controversial wind farm above Edgworth.

An appeal against the decision to refuse planning permission for two wind turbines at Uglow Farm, Broadhead Road has been dismissed.

The appellants had argued the wind turbines should be allowed because they would benefit the environment.

But a report from the planning inspectorate following a four-day public inquiry in May said the proposal “would not be likely to have a significant environmental effect”.

It concluded: “I find that the proposal would have an unacceptably adverse impact on a key characteristic of the landscape here.”

Kathryn Rodgers, who lives next door to the planned site, said: “This is absolutely excellent news. All our hard work has definitely paid off. It restores my faith in the system that local residents’ voices are heard. It has been a long fight but worth it in the end. The piles of paperwork I have on this case can be used on my bonfire in November now it is all thankfully over.”

Darwen MP Janet Anderson, who has been against the plans from the beginning, said: “I am delighted at the common sense decision. It was a totally inappropriate site.”

Angus and Julia Dootson first applied for planning permission for the 95ft turbines – the equivalent height of 2 double-deck buses – in November 2003.

Blackburn with Darwen Council refused the plans in October 2004.

The couple, whose appeal sparked the public inquiry, have insisted the machines are necessary to produce renewable energy and were approached by UK wind farm operator National Wind Power to host the turbines.

But opponents who formed campaign group, Edgworth Against Turbines, and the council argued at the inquiry that the concrete structures, which were planned for a Biological Heritage Site, would spoil the countryside, generate noise and devalue properties.

Mr and Mrs Dootson were unavailable for comment.

By Jemma Dobson

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