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Appeal is lodged against decision to reject wind farm proposal by A38 near Stinchcombe

Campaigners are getting ready for the second round in a fight to stop a wind farm being built on their doorsteps.

Green energy company Ecotricity has lodged an appeal against a decision to reject planning permission for a wind farm on land between the A38 and the M5 near Stinchcombe.

Councillors on Stroud District Council turned the Stroud-based company down on the grounds that the structures would have a detrimental impact on the landscape, which is 1km away from an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Members of campaign group Save Berkeley Vale were thrilled with the decision, but they are now gearing up for the next stage of the battle.

“We are up for it,” said spokesman for SBV Jack Sant. “We will be getting legal representation and fighting it all the way.”

He said the group would be making submissions as part of the appeal process and they wanted more than just the landscape issue to be taken into account.

“In our opinion there are many more points that need to be looked at such as the noise issue and environmental impact,” said Mr Sant.

“Even if Ecotricity is given permission I don’t believe a finance company would fund the project because there is not enough wind down here in Gloucestershire – we know that.”

Ecotricity wants to build four 120 metre high turbines on land at Standle Farm. The company believes this would provide green energy for over 7,000 homes.

Dale Vince, founder and managing director of Ecotricity, 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.”

Mr Sant disputed the cost issue and said thousands of pounds had already been wasted on planning consultants and noise specialists to evaluate the application.

The appeal will be looked at by the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol, who will then hold a hearing to consider both sides of the case before making a decision.