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Villagers' joy as wind farm plans thrown out by council  

Controversial plans to build four 330ft-high wind turbines in a Derbyshire village have been thrown out.

Planners from Derbyshire Dales District Council had recommended that permission for the turbines, at Carsington, be refused.

And councillors unanimously agreed with that decision at a meeting last night.

But the company behind the turbines, wind farm developer West Coast Energy, said afterwards that it might appeal.

Councillors said West Coast Energy had not consulted local people before it submitted its application.

And they agreed with villagers who have campaigned against the turbines saying they would be too noisy, they would be visible from the B5035 and could distract motorists.

They also say the natural beauty and wildlife of the area should be protected.

Up to 50 campaigners attended the meeting of the district council’s planning committee and eight of them presented their case to councillors.

Steve Burton, of Carsington, spoke out at the meeting and described the decision to reject the plans as a “victory for common sense”.

He said: “I am delighted that the councillors agreed with the residents and listened to them.

“Perhaps West Coast Energy will consult residents in the future before submitting applications.”

Councillor Lewis Rose said he did not think the site, at Carsington Pastures in Manystones Lane, was right for the turbines.

He said: “I think it is a shame the applicant would not hold a public meeting.”

Councillor Andrew McCloy agreed with Mr Rose but urged councillors at the meeting to keep things in perspective.

He said: “Carsington Water is a man-made reservoir that wasn’t even there 20 years ago. That said, there are flaws in the application and it is clear this is the wrong site for the turbines.”

Planning officer John Bradbury said the council had offered advice to West Coast Energy before it submitted the application.

Mr Bradbury said: “We encouraged to company to start engaging with the local community and, to the best of our knowledge, that wasn’t carried out.”

Before making the decision, councillors visited a wind turbine site in Barnsley, Yorkshire. They agreed that was useful.

Neil Exton, a representative from West Coast Energy who was at the meeting, said: “I’d imagine we would appeal but I can’t say for definite yet.”

An appeal would mean a public inquiry, which could take up to 18 months.

The turbines planned for Carsington would generate enough electricity for 5,500 homes.

By Shaun Jepson

Evening Telegraph

18 July 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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