Controversial plans for a wind turbine on a dramatic Peak District hilltop have been refused permission by the National Park Authority.
The National Trust wanted to erect the 12 metre structure to generate electricity for White Edge Lodge holiday cottage on the Longshaw Estate, on the hillside above Grindleford.
The National Park’s planning committee had recommended an exception be made to its policy of protecting special landscapes from visual intrusion, because of its environmental benefits.
But the full authority did not agree, and neither did objectors including the Ramblers Association and Grindleford Parish Council.
They said the landscape should be protected and alternative, less-intrusive sources of renewable energy explored.
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.
Narendra Bajaria, chairman of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “We do not believe there were sufficient exceptional benefits to set aside our policy of protecting the landscape.
“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 uses a diesel generator, with high carbon dioxide emissions.
The National Trust, which was supported by the Friends of the Peak District, said it had explored alternatives, including mains connection and other renewables, but discounted them as unsuitable or impracticable.
Mike Innerdale, National Trust property manager of the High Peak and Longshaw Estate said: “This decision is extremely disappointing and at odds with the work that is taking place in the Peak District to tackle climate change.
“The High Peak Estate is at the forefront of this work, restoring the peat moorlands, which act as vital carbon stores and help tackle climate change.”
The organisation is “assessing the detailed decision” before deciding whether to appeal.
By Richard Marsden
24 May 2008
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