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Cheers as wind power for school is rejected

Residents are celebrating after an appeal to build a 49ft wind turbine in a primary school playground was refused.

Westborough Primary School, in Macdonald Avenue, Westcliff, submitted the controversial plans for the turbine to Southend Council in June last year.

The turbine, which was part of several green initiatives planned by the school, was intended to generate green electricity. However, the plans caused controversy among nearby residents, who feared a turbine would be dangerous for children and create too much noise.

Robert Evans led the campaign against the turbine, collecting 96 signatures on a petition calling for the plans to be refused.

Mr Evans, 57, from Gainsborough Drive said: “It has been a real bone of contention for us, and we are over the moon the inspectorate took our concerns on board when making its decision. It was part of several initiatives to get the school green, and we had no problem with the other energy-saving initiatives.

“If it had been built it would have been about 60m away from my house and I don’t care what people say, it would have been noisy.”

The council did not issue a decision on the application within a set time period so it was automatically refused.

The school appealed, but the planning inspectorate dismissed it on several grounds surrounding the level of noise it would create, the impact it would have on the area, as well as causing unacceptable risks for the safety of staff and schoolchildren.

Ric Morgan, councillor for Prittlewell ward, said: “I am pleased it has been turned down because, in my opinion, it was an irresponsible and poor plan to have something like a wind turbine above where school children were playing.”