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Lamerton windfarm appeal thrown out 

A farmer’s bid to build two 70 metre-high wind turbines on the western edge of Dartmoor has been dismissed, because they would form a “restless intrusion” on the landscape.Carol and Robert Bradford, of Beech Farm, Lamerton, near Tavistock, had appealed against West Devon Borough Council’s decision to throw out the plans to build the turbines, each one-and-a-half times the height of Exeter Cathedral.

They claimed the development would not have a detrimental effect on the surroundings, and said the windfarm was needed to create green energy.

They had proposed that the turbines, which they claimed would provide enough power for up to 1,300 homes, would be run by a community trust.

Their appeal was heard by Government planning inspector Richard Tamplin in October.

This week, he released a report in which he dismissed the appeal.

It read: “The turbines would form a restless intrusion into this quiet and reposeful upland, to its detriment.

“Because of the high visual quality of this landscape and its strong local distinctiveness, I conclude that, despite the area being the subject of no protective designation, the harm which would be caused by the turbines would be unacceptable.”

He said he had considered the effect on the Grade 1 listed Brentor Church and also on residents living nearby among the factors in reaching the decision.

The Bradfords were unavailable for comment yesterday. But Angela Duignan, of Energy4All, which promotes community-owned turbines and had supported their appeal, said: “We are very shocked and very angry.

“At one point during the appeal, we sent up balloons on the proposed site, to show the height that the turbines would reach.

“It could barely be seen from Brent Tor, or anywhere else people were worried about.

“If this is how people are going to respond to climate change, what hope is left?

“If we can’t put up two turbines which can barely be seen from anywhere and which would be completely owned by the community, what’s the planning sector going to do when all our roads and railways are blocked because of extreme weather?”

But Jonathan Cardale, chief executive of the Dartmoor Preservation Association, said: “This is the right decision, which reinforces the high value we in Devon place on our historic buildings and the very special landscapes which surround them and our national parks.

“They are our heritage and a priceless asset which is not renewable.

“We all acknowledge the need for renewable energy, but it has to be in the right place. In this case the planning system and common sense said this was not an appropriate site; and we applaud the inspector for having endorsed this.”

A spokesman for West Devon Borough Council said: “We are very pleased that our decision has been fully upheld.”


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