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Appeal over Gloucestershire wind turbine plan

Green energy pioneers haven’t given up on a wind farm plan in the Vale of Berkeley.

Stroud-based firm Ecotricity is appealing Stroud District Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a wind park at Stinchcombe.

It says the four 120 metre-high turbines would provide green energy for more than 7,000 homes.

But critics say they will be a blot on the landscape.

Ecotricity boss Dale Vince, said: “This was always a decision that didn’t make any sense to us. Britain doesn’t have the luxury of turning down projects like this just because a tiny minority of people don’t like the look of them.

“We Britons need to harness our indigenous clean energy sources, like the wind. Our appeal just wastes time and money, ours and the council’s, getting the right decision – the one the council planning department actually recommended.”

Landscape

The council’s development control committee turned down the plans in April, due to its impact on the landscape. That was against council planning officers’ advice.

Ecotricity says its location, between the M5, A38 and Gloucester-Bristol railway line means four turbines would not adversely affect the landscape enough to warrant not building them. It also says the wind farm would be “more than 1km away from the Cotswold AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty)”. However, Campaigners from Save Berkeley Vale, and the Cotswold Conservation Board said that was too close.

Development control committee member Councillor Graham Travé (Con, Coaley and Uley), said an appeal was “ridiculous”.

“It’s another round of wasting public money,” said Coun Travé, who spoke out against when the original plans for eight turbines were revealed in September 2009.

“It’s simply the wrong place for the wind turbines. This will be a waste of another £250,000 – it’s just ridiculous.”

SBV chairman Jack Sant said: “Our main concern is that our planning consultant’s view is that it is the most inappropriate place for a wind park he has ever seen.”