Protesters against a controversial wind farm development near Yarm are celebrating a small victory.
Planning permission has already been granted for the five turbine wind farm on land between the villages of Seamer and Hilton after local people lost a long-running battle to block it.
But this week Stockton planners refused an application from the developers Broadview Energy to relocate and increase the size of the wind farm control room.
The company is aiming for the wind farm – which straddles Stockton and Hambleton districts – to enter commercial operation next year and say it will generate power for around 7,000 homes.
Broadview had applied to Stockton Council to change the original location and size of the control building, to be built in the authority’s administrative area.
But the fresh application was met with nearly 100 objections from local villagers.
Concerns included visual impact of the new building which they said would be “a blot on the landscape” and would obscure views, it would “further industrialize the countryside” and would result in “the loss of prime agricultural land”.
Ward councillor David Harrington also objected saying: “The ground is much higher at this new location. Coupled with the significant increase to the overall size of the control building and the location in the middle of a field, this will have a significant visual impact on the rural landscape in Hilton and Seamer.”
Stockton’s planning committee rejected the plans against the recommendations of its officers.
Rita Sinclair, from the Seamer and Hilton Windfarm Action Group (SHWAG), welcomed the decision.
“A lot of people are still angry about this wind farm and that feeling is not going away,” she said. “We are determined they will not ride roughshod over us.”
As reported, the wind farm was finally given the go ahead in May by a Government planning inspector after a three-day public inquiry.
Broadview Energy had appealed against Hambleton Council’s rejection of its plans for two 125-metre turbines in its boundaries.
Stockton Council had already approved the three turbines within its own administrative area which complete the £15m, five-turbine development.
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