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Wind turbine for Peak refused  

The Peak District National Park Authority has turned down a National Trust application for a wind turbine on the dramatic sweeping landscape of Longshaw, near Grindleford.

A meeting of the full authority rejected the 12-metre turbine proposal to supply electricity to the White Edge Lodge holiday cottage.

The authority’s planning committee had recommended that it should make an exception to its policy and approve the scheme. It believed that the environmental benefits were sufficient to outweigh policy on protecting special landscapes from visual intrusion.

But the full authority did not agree, and neither did objectors including the Ramblers Association and Grindleford Parish Council, which argued strongly in favour of protecting the landscape and exploring alternative, less-intrusive sources of renewable energy.

The site is within a Special Protection Area, Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Area of Conservation and a Natural Zone, and the turbine would have been seen above the treeline from public footpaths and open access land.

Authority chair Narendra Bajaria said: “Having seen the evidence in a visual presentation of its impact on the landscape, we do not believe there were sufficient exceptional benefits to set aside our policy of protecting the landscape.

“National parks are a national asset, borne out of public concern to conserve their natural beauty and public access. This is enshrined in national policy for a reason. Longshaw is a very special wild and iconic place, not only for residents but for thousands of visitors, and we are here to protect its natural beauty, wildlife and heritage.”

Though the Grade II listed lodge is not connected to mains electricity, it is just half-a-mile from the Grouse Inn, which is. The lodge is currently supplied by diesel generator, with high carbon dioxide emissions. The National Trust, which was supported by the Friends of the Peak District, said it had explored the alternatives, including mains connection and other renewables, but discounted them as unsuitable or impracticable.

Derbyshire Times

23 May 2008

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