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Appeal means wind farm fight is back on  

Credit:  By Jim Durkin, Daily Echo, www.bournemouthecho.co.uk 6 October 2011 ~~

The fight for the £14m Master’s Quarry wind farm is back on, it has emerged.

Purbeck District Council’s planning board threw out the application earlier this year, delighting the strong local opposition to the imposing four-turbine Alaska Wind Farm scheme.

However, there was also significant support for the green energy project, earmarked for the quarry at Puddletown Road, East Stoke.

Infinergy, the company behind the bid, always maintained it would appeal against the district’s decision to Secretary of State Eric Pickles.

Now, district council bosses have confirmed they’ve received official notification of a pending appeal from the government’s planning inspectorate.

The date of this inquiry, which will be carried out to enable the Secretary of State to make his final ruling, has not yet been announced.

But it has already provoked strong condemnation from Dorset’s Campaign to Protect Rural England and the Dorset Against Rural Turbine group – the two organisations that have led the fight against the turbines.

DART chairman Geoffrey Edwardes said: “We have submitted medical studies that show turbine noise can damage human health, and so Scotland and continental countries have laid down that turbines must be erected over 2,000 metres from residential homes.”

Some homes are closer to the proposed site than 2km, but Infinergy has fully conformed to all necessary safety guidelines.

In fact, when district planners ruled they were “minded to approve” the scheme for the four 125-metre turbines in December 2010, subject to conditions, Infinergy’s engineers came back in 2011 and appeared to meet all the requirements laid down.

Wind farm supporters have since argued district planners only refused after appearing to bow to local pressure and NIMBYism.

Chief executive Charles Sandham said: “Councillors dismissed the professional conditions their planning officers put together.”

Meanwhile, Tania Kaplan, of the Purbeck Environment Action Team, said: “Three quarters of the people who wrote in to the council were supportive of the wind farm.”

Purbeck CPRE chairman Terry Stewart insists The Infinergy and the landowner are motivated by money.

District council planning board chairman Cllr Peter Wharf said: “The council will now be preparing its case accordingly.”

Source:  By Jim Durkin, Daily Echo, www.bournemouthecho.co.uk 6 October 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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