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Villagers’ relief as wind farm bid thrown out by Cornwall Council

Jubilant campaigners were celebrating “winning the battle but not the war” yesterday after councillors threw out plans for a wind farm with turbines up to 120 metres tall in Cornwall.

The plans by Coronation Power for five turbines at St Erme, near Truro, were overwhelmingly rejected 16-2 by Cornwall Council’s strategic planning committee, against the advice of officers.

The news delighted more than 30 objectors at County Hall, who have fought a two-year battle against plans at Truthan Barton Farm, where a larger application for seven turbines was rejected by a planning inspector and upheld by a High Court judge earlier this year.

Nick Dymond, chairman of pressure group 2Big2Close, said after the meeting: “The decision is a huge relief and it means so much to us that we have been listened to.

“These turbines would have been so much bigger than anything we have got in Cornwall – the scale is quite breathtaking and no-one would want to live close to one.

“But we have won the day but not the war – we think the plans will come back yet again.”

Anne-Marie Hurst, whose home is 800 metres from one of the proposed turbines, said: “I’ve suffered sleepless nights over it and it’s a great relief to have the support of councillors.”

The turbines would have provided enough energy to power 5,600 homes, but councillors felt the impact on the landscape and nearby listed buildings would be too great. Councillor Mike Eathorne Gibbons said the harm caused by five turbines was “virtually unchanged” from the original application for seven.

“In my judgment the community is wholeheartedly against this application. For some this is a wind farm too far,” he said.

Council planning officers warned that, although Cornwall has met 2010 renewable energy targets, the county is “some way off” meeting 2020 demands and a “long way off” self-sufficiency.

A petition with 660 names on it – half the population of the affected community – and dozens of letters of objection had been received by the council.

Edward Romaine, for Coronation Power, said the council had “bowed to public pressure” and announced the company would launch an appeal. He added: “2Big2Close don’t represent everybody and I’m not sure everybody in Trispen and St Erme is against this scheme.”

Proposals for two 100 metre turbines at a manor house near Grampound in Mid Cornwall and a further five next to Bears Down wind farm at St Mawgan, near Newquay, were approved by the committee.