Four 335ft-high wind turbines planned for a Derbyshire beauty spot would “intimidate” visitors, a public inquiry has heard.
Opponents to the plans for Carsington Pasture said the Peak District site was inappropriate for a wind farm.
But developer Carsington Wind Energy Ltd said the 200ft-high tubular steel turbine towers, with rotors up to 275ft in diameter, would generate enough electricity for more than 5,500 homes and were a “direct response” to global warming.
On the first day of the expected eight-day inquiry at Matlock Town Hall yesterday, Carsington and Hopton Parish council chairman Neil Edmiston outlined the authority’s objections.
He said: “We believe the site chosen is an inappropriate site for a wind farm.
“We believe the effects on walkers on the close footpaths could be disturbing and intimidating.
“The turbines would be extremely close to one popular footpath from which walkers might feel as if the blades are passing almost over their heads.
“Carsington Pasture is enjoyed for its tranquillity and beauty.
“The movement of the rotors and the sheer size and inappropriate scale of the turbines would have a very negative impact on this.
“We feel the turbine’s dominating position, with rotors visible high over the conservation village of Carsington, would be unsettling and oppressive.”
Anthony Crean QC, acting on behalf of Derbyshire Dales District Council, which rejected the original plan, said: “The landscape with which this inquiry is concerned is natural, delicate and beautiful.
“The proposed development will harm this landscape.”
But Jeremy Pike QC, who represented the developers, said: “The proposal comes forward as a direct consequence of, and in direct response to, potentially catastrophic climate change resulting from man’s influence upon the environment.
“The proposed development would make a significant contribution to the Government’s renewable energy targets.”
He said the company was not required to provided information relating to potential alternative sites for turbines.
The turbines would generate enough electricity for more than 5,500 homes and local companies would be able to bid for construction contracts worth around £1.5m.
Carsington Wind Energy Ltd wants to build the turbines, along with a sub-station, on a 40-acre site in Manystones Lane, Carsington.
The company appealed to the Planning Inspectorate after Derbyshire Dales District Council refused planning permission last July.
Later this week, the inquiry is expected to hear from Peter Gibbon, chairman of Carsington Bird Club, and Janice Southway, from the Protect Carsington and Hopton Action Group, which has collected a 750-name protest petition.
2 July 2008
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