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Peak Park's 'bold' decision to back estate wind turbine  

A “bold” decision has been made to allow the National Trust to erect a wind turbine on its estate at Longshaw.

Peak Park guardians are preparing to make an exception to their strict guidelines on protecting the landscape because they say, in this instance, the benefits for the environment and sustainable energy outweigh the visual impact.

However, a final decision on a 12 metre high turbine to generate renewable energy for White Edge Lodge will have to go to the full National Park Authority because of the policy implications.

Planning vice-chair Anne Ashe, the authority’s spokesperson on climate change, who lives in Sheffield, said: “I’m passionate about national parks and protected landscapes, but in the case of this small domestic turbine I do not think it will impinge on long-distance views.

“Though it will be seen closer to, I think people will have a positive response to it. We’ve got to make some bold decisions in order to fulfill our responsibilities for the future.”

The National Trust asked for permission for a single blade turbine to power the lodge, which is used as self-catering accommodation. At present oil is burned for cooking, heating and electricity, and a wood burning stove heats the main living room.

Peak Park planning officers pointed out the impact on the landscape. Although the structure would be partly screened by trees, it would be seen on the skyline, from public footpaths popular with walkers and from the B6054 as far away as the Grouse Inn, they said.

But the Peak District National Park planning committee decided that, in this case, a small domestic turbine could be justified. It would be partially shielded by landscape features and trees and, if finally approved, there would be a stipulation for the colour to blend with the landscape and sky and for the cable to be put underground.

The scheme was supported by Friends of the Peak District, while Natural England had no objections.

The National Trust, explained that it had explored other renewable energy alternatives, none of which were practical in this location.

by Peter Kay

Sheffield Telegraph

24 April 2008

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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