West Cumbrian villagers have claimed victory after controversial windfarm test masts on Tallentire Hill were rejected for the second time.
Renewable Energy Systems wanted to build the 70-metre masts on the hill but Allerdale council rejected the proposal.
The company appealed to the Government, which has now backed the authority’s refusal.
There was huge opposition to the plan from villagers, and a pressure group, Tallentire Area Action Group, was set up to stop the windfarm plans.
Margaret O’Hare, of Tallentire, said: “I am glad they would not vote in favour of any development. I felt it was groundbreaking. The inspector saw the uniqueness of the site. The decision sends out a clear message to other developers.
“Residents at Bridekirk, Tallentire and Gilcrux were equally affected by this. They sent written responses to the inspectorate in Bristol and Allerdale council.
“It is very interesting for the Cockermouth area. If one area is granted a windfarm it is tainting the landscape.”
She added that Tallentire Hill was a local landmark and it could be seen from Prospect, High Rigg in Brigham, and Dovenby.
Sara Helmsley Rose, a member of Force, an anti-wind farm pressure group, said: “It is a significant move for the future and I think it is groundbreaking.
“I have never heard of it being turned down before. It was the right decision.
“It was turned down because of the time it would be left up.”
Government inspector Keith Smith said in his report: “In reaching a decision on the present appeal I express no view as to the suitability or otherwise of this locality to accommodate a wind farm.
He added that although 36 months would be beneficial to gather data it was longer than the recommended period of 12 months.
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