Plans to erect wind turbine on a picturesque hillside have been turned down for a second time Eco-farmers Craig Barks and Catherine Webster had hoped to use the turbine to provide power for their burgeoning sustainable tourism business and small farm, but strong opposition from their neighbours added weight to concerns among planners that the 34.6 metre turbine would be detrimental to the landscape.
The turbine, which would have been equivalent in height to a 10 storey building, would have generated enough power to run the farm at Agnes Meadow Lane, near Atlow, and allow around half its output to feed back into the national grid – which the applicants claim would be enough to power 17 homes.
But members of the Derbyshire Dales District Council Southern Area Planning Committee last week decided the turbine – which would be visible from parts of Ashbourne – was too large and would be too visually intrusive in an otherwise unspoilt landscape.
Families living nearby, who all asserted they approved of wind power in principle, had also put arguments forward at the meeting about the possible danger a large turbine might pose on wildlife and expressed concerns over placing it near to a popular bridleway used by horse riders.
Ashbourne Councillor Simon Spencer admitted that his opinion of the proposal had changed since it was modified and re-submitted to move the turbine 50m further away to reduce its prominence in the hillside, but said he was still against it.
Echoing comments from other members of the committee keen to embrace wind technology he said: “We do have a responsibility to encourage people to find alternative forms of energy. Having said that, this is too much too soon.” After a lengthy debate over the merits of onshore wind energy over other sustainable sources of power, members moved to agree with the 10 residents living near to the proposed farm that turned out to speak against the application and to follow planning officer John Bradbury’s recommendation that the application be refused.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding