Closing statements have been read out on the final day of the public inquiry into the proposed four 100m wind turbines near Carsington Water.
The eight-day enquiry drew to a close on Friday, after Derbyshire Dales District Council turned down the application to build the turbines, which developers say would provide power for thousands of homes.
A lobby-group was formed by villagers who were facing living in the shadow of the structures, and the Protect Carsington and Hopton Action Group gathered nearly 1,500 signatures from villagers and visitors opposed to the project.
As well as the 1,481 signature petition the group received 770 letters and 56 emails of support, which were all submitted to the inquiry’s chairman, Robin Brooks.
Mr Brooks, a government inspector, will now make a reccomendation based on the evidence submitted during the inquiry, which was held in Matlock Town Hall, and a final decision will be made by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
Lawyer Jeremy Pike, representing applicants Carsington Wind Energy Ltd, admitted that there would be an impact on surrounding residents, but suggested that this was not a reason to turn down the application.
He claimed the wind farm could save up to 565,000 tonnes per year of carbon dioxide being pumped in to the atmosphere during its anticipated 25-year life.
But Anthony Crean QC, representing Derbyshire Dales District Council, accused Carsington Wind Energy of flouting planning laws, and ignoring requirements in its consultation obligations.
Villagers, meanwhile, were worried about the development’s impact on local tourism and wildlife, as well as the intrusion of noise and the visual impact.
The decision is expected to be announced on Friday, September 12.
By Gareth Butterfield
16 July 2008
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