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Mast plan rejected but wind farm still on cards  

Credit:  The Courier, www.leamingtoncourier.co.uk 28 November 2010 ~~

Energy company Broadview has for the second time been refused permission to build a meteorological mast near Bishops Itchington.

But the firm says it will not give up trying to build south Warwickshire’s first wind farm at the site, which is known as Starbold.

Stratford District Council’s planning committee last week rejected an amended application to set up a 60-metre mast to measure wind speeds. An earlier application was turned down in the summer and a subsequent appeal was then dismissed.

The latest decision was welcomed by opposition group, Feldon Residents And Wind Farm Turbines (Frawt), whose members issued the following statement: “The views of the many local residents and visitors to Burton Dassett hills who opposed the planning application were taken into account by the committee, as well as the arguments put forward by the five local parish councils.

“Resolute and determined action by local people has stopped this mast being erected and has preserved the panoramic views from the hills for the enjoyment of the 65,000 annual visitors and people of Warwickshire.”

District councillor Beverley Mann (Lib Dem, Harbury), who supported Frawt, said: “I am extremely pleased. I think Broadview will be coming back with the ‘full Monty’, but we will be ready for them. No-one wants to be against wind masts, but it seems to be a very strange area to pick.

“Work needs to be actioned to stop further situations arising of energy companies buying land in rural hamlets with the view of pushing through such applications. This is not the bottom-up approach the Government is promoting.”

Starbold project manager Olly Buck said: “We’re very disappointed that the planning committee decided to reject our application, despite their officer’s recommendation that it be approved.

“We worked hard to revise our proposals and address the concerns of the inspector who dismissed our appeal.”

He added: “It was clear from the large number of residents who attended the meeting that there continues to be concern regarding our wider intention to develop a wind farm. It is therefore apparent that, when moving forward with our proposals, we must be more thorough in communicating the benefits of the scheme.”

Source:  The Courier, www.leamingtoncourier.co.uk 28 November 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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