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Ramblers hit out at wind turbine plan

Ramblers have condemned a decision by Peak District bosses to approve a wind turbine on National Trust land.

The Derbyshire Ramblers’ Association say the decision to allow the turbine on White Edge on the Park’s eastern moors is “astonishing” and would seriously detract from the character of the landscape.

Officers had recommended the application should be refused because it wouldn’t fit in with the landscape – but councillors felt the demand for renewable energy was just too important. There are fears that, if the decision stands, it could become a test case for the highly sensitive landscape of the Peak District.

The final decision will now be taken by the authority’s full council when it meets on May 23 – and ramblers are calling for the decision to be overturned. John Riddall, countryside secretary of the Ramblers’ Derbyshire Dales Group, said: “It is astonishing that the National Trust should have applied for permission.

“It is even more astonishing that the Park’s Planning Committee should vote for the application to be approved.We would describe it as a betrayal of all the National Park is intended to stand for.”

Grindleford Parish Council also objected.

A spokesman for the Peak District National Park Authority said plans for wind turbines were considered “on a case-by-case basis”.

He said: “On balance, planning officers recommended the application be refused but, by a five to four margin, members of the planning committee felt the benefits of introducing a renewable energy scheme outweighed the concerns over the visual impact.”

By Tony Belshaw

The Star

6 May 2008