An energy company has ditched plans to build four giant wind turbines.
Scottish Power Renewables (SPR) was refused permission to build the wind farm near Queniborough in February but had been considering an appeal.
However, the firm announced yesterday that it would not be pursuing an appeal – to the delight of villagers who had fought the proposal.
A spokesman for SPR said: “Following extensive discussions with our planning specialists and legal team, Scottish Power Renewables has decided against submitting an appeal.
“While we feel the development could make a considerable contribution to the region’s limited renewable credentials, we have to consider how our resources can be best utilised to assist the UK in reaching its renewable energy targets.”
SPR had said the 126m turbines, off Ridgemere Lane, would generate 9.2 megawatts of electricity a year and prevent 216,000 tonnes of carbon being emitted over 25 years.
Charnwood Borough Council refused the plans as too visually intrusive in an area of attractive countryside.
Villagers said they were relieved and described the threat of the appeal as being like a “dark cloud” hanging over them.
Mike Jones, chairman of campaign group Scottish Power Renewables Out said: “It’s excellent news for the people of Queniborough.
“You would have been able to see these gigantic structures from Coventry on a clear day and they would have desecrated a spot of natural beauty.
“We are not against renewable energy – far from it – but this location was wholly unsuitable for a wind farm.”
Margaret Winterton, whose home in South Croxton Road would have been less than 600m from the turbines, said: “I’m very relieved by the decision.
“We need to protect the Ridgemere for the people of Queniborough.”
Councillor Matthew Blain, borough council cabinet lead member for planning and conservation, said: “I am delighted that the proposal to appeal against our decision has been dropped and SPR has listened to the views of residents, backed up by the council.
“It has also saved us having to fight the appeal, which we would have been obliged to do but at a considerable expense.”
Villagers had raised tens of thousands of pounds in case they needed to mount a legal challenge.
Mr Jones said the campaign group would hang on to the fund until the threat had gone completely.
He said: “We’re relieved but not quite ready to celebrate.
“It would be lovely to give the money to charitable causes but we’d look pretty stupid if another developer then came in with new plans for a wind farm.”
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