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Celebrations as wind farm plan is dropped

Villagers are celebrating after an energy giant confirmed to the Advertiser that it had halted plans for a massive wind farm on their doorstep.

The news ends almost 10 years of uncertainty for residents in Abbots Bromley and Marchington who have fought bitterly against the plans for a development of eight 360ft (110m) wind turbines at Bagot’s Park.

The latest plans were rejected by East Staffordshire Borough Council in April but residents still feared an appeal could be launched or the plans resubmitted.

However, the company behind the proposed wind farm, SSE Renewables, told the Mail it had halted its plans for Bagot’s Park – although it would not close the door completely on revisiting it in the future.

A spokesman for the company said: “While we are planning long-term growth of our wind energy portfolio in the UK and Ireland, we are always reviewing our sites in order to optimise our wind farm.

“Our decision to halt any potential development at Bagot’s Park is consistent with that as it is not offering the minimum size of development presently required.”

Abbots Bromley Parish Council chairman Roger Jarman said the company’s decision to suspend its plans was ‘great news’ for the village.

He said: “It is excellent news. I know that they had taken the testing masts down but wøe thought that was not significant as it could have meant they just had all the data they required.

“I think the news will certainly be greeted warmly by people in the village.

“The company had six months to appeal and until that day had passed or we had confirmation from the company we always feared the plans would go in again.

“It is very, very good news.” Several energy companies have applied to build a wind farm at Bagot’s Park over the last decade with SSE Renewables, formerly Airtricity, the latest to have made proposals when it revealed its plans in 2007.

Residents have fought valiantly against the proposals that they felt would have a devastating impact on the landscape overlooking the villages of Abbots Bromley, Marchington Woodlands and Marchington.

Borough councillor for the Crown ward Robert Hardwick, who has previously spoken out against the proposals, said the news was a ‘victory for common sense’.

He said: “The limited amount of energy this low wind site would generate could never outweigh its environmental impact and its potential negative effects on neighbouring properties.

“I pay tribute to the hard work of the Abbots Bromley and Marchington Woodlands Wind Farm Action Group who highlighted and challenged the flaws in this Bagot’s Park Wind Farm proposal.

“I hope now we can now engage local communities in reducing their carbon footprint and looking for workable solutions to meet our energy needs.”