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Peak authority rejects Longshaw turbine plan  

Objectors to a proposed wind turbine on moorland at Longshaw near Fox House have finally won the day.

The Peak District National Park Authority has decided that the environmental benefits of generating electricity for White Edge Lodge are outweighed by the visual impact on such a sensitive part of the Peak District.

The authority reversed a decision by its planning committee to reject the application from the National Trust.

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.”

The ruling will be greeted with relief by 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.

But there was support for the application from the Friends of the Peak District, while Natural England had no objections.

It involved erecting a 12-metre turbine to supply power to the lodge, which is used for holiday cottages, near the Longshaw visitor centre and café and is currently supplied by diesel generator, with high carbon dioxide emissions.

The planning committee had recommended that the authority should make an exception to its policy and approve the scheme on the basis that the structure would not impinge on long-distance views and it was necessary to make “some bold decisions in order to fulfil our responsibilities for the future”.

But the full authority took a different view, saying the turbine would have been seen above the treeline from public footpaths and open access land and pointing out that the suggested location is in a Special Protection Area, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Area of Conservation and a Natural Zone.

Sheffield Telegraph

29 May 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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