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Plan for wind farm on outskirts of Uttlesford defeated

Developers have been left with a bill expected to total hundreds of thousands of pounds now plans for a wind farm on the outskirts of Uttlesford have been ditched.

Renewable energy developers who wanted to build an eight-turbine wind farm at Little Linton Farm, between Linton and Great Chesterford, have seen their appeal against a council planning decision thrown out.

An application was made to Uttlesford District Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council at the start of last year but was refused.

Developers Enertrag appealed the decision and a six-week inquiry, which was adjourned for several months, took place this year.

Last week, planning inspector Philip Major, who was appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to head the inquiry, ruled in the councils’ favour.

In his report he said the production of renewable energy, the assistance in meeting relevant national aspirations and reducing the impact of climate change and the investment in jobs were in favour of the wind farm.

However, matters weighing against the proposal were the harm to the landscape, various heritage assets, aviation interests and biodiversity.
The inspector also granted full costs against Enertrag, which means public money spent on the appeal will be reimbursed.

South Cambridgeshire District Council has previously said the battle was expected to cost the authority £75,000 in legal fees and the equivalent of £20,000 in officer time.

An Uttlesford District Council spokesman said: “Calculating costs takes time so at the moment it is not possible to say what this figure will be. However, it will run into tens of thousands of pounds.”

Linton county and district councillor John Batchelor said: “It’s great we won’t have a wind farm dominating Linton but a shame it took nine months of appeal to arrive here.

“The reimbursement only covers the councils’ legal costs so they won’t recover every penny. The bad news is the people like Stop Linton Wind Farm who have spent huge amounts won’t get any money at all.”

Phil Harrison, chairman of Stop Linton Wind Farm Action Group, said the group was delighted with the inspector’s dismissal.
“We thank the district councils for their forceful efforts to protect our communities against this development and for their willingness to cooperate effectively with the residents of the villages blighted by Enertrag’s proposal.

“This is a robust dismissal of a speculative exercise conducted by Enertrag in blatant breach of national guidance.”