Developers have won their battle to install a 230ft wind mast at the site of a controversial windfarm on the Shropshire-Staffordshire border.
The decision, made by the planning inspectorate, is a blow to campaigners who fear the company behind the plans will now appeal against an earlier decision by council planning chiefs to refuse six 413ft wind turbines at the same site, on the Bradford Estate near Weston Park.
Wind Prospects has been granted permission by the planning inspectorate for the wind measuring mast after the company launched an appeal against South Staffordshire Council’s decision to reject the proposal.
Now the company has until the autumn to decide whether it will also appeal against the decision of the council to reject the six turbine plan.
The single mast could be installed as early as February.
It will be used by Wind Prospects to collect wind data to assess the potential for a wind farm at the site near Brineton.
The planning inspectorate concluded the mast would have no significant impact on the character or appearance of the surrounding area.
Campaign group Stop the Turbine Action Group (Stag) has said the decision was not unexpected but said it was already planning to fight any future appeal on the wind turbines.
Paul Grimshaw, development manager at Wind Prospect, said: “We’re delighted that the planning inspector agreed with our reasons for appeal and has granted planning permission for this mast.
“We do understand that applications like this can cause local concern.”
Tony Lendon, from Stag, said: “We are disappointed but it was on the cards they were going to get it.
“It doesn’t come as a shock.”
If an appeal for the turbines is lodged, Mr Lendon said it would spark angry responses from nearby residents.
Neighbours of the proposed windfarm site claim the turbines would ruin the landscape if they were to be granted planning permission.
Wind Prospect say electricity generated from such a wind farm would be fed into the local distribution network for use in Shropshire.
It is estimated they would provide power for more than 6,000 homes.
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