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Wind farm can go ahead near abbey

A wind farm can be built in the countryside north of Cambridge despite concerns about the impact on a medieval abbey, development chiefs ruled.

Planning permission was granted for three turbines at Denny Lodge Business Park, in School Lane, Chittering, less than a mile north of Denny Abbey.

Fears were raised that the setting of the Grade I listed building, which dates back to 1159, could be ruined by the 50ft-high towers, and there were also worries about the effect of noise on neighbours.

However, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning committee heard tree planting and the comparative shortness of the turbines – an application for three taller ones was withdrawn – minimised the harm.

Cllr Peter Johnson, who represents the area, told members he believed the scheme should be thrown out.

In comments read out at the meeting, he said: “The amount of electricity produced by wind turbines doesn’t justify spoiling views from a listed monument, namely Denny Abbey.

“The landscape in the area has changed little over the years and I see no valid reasons to do that now.”

Waterbeach Parish Council recommended refusal, claiming the farm would be “visually intrusive” and two neighbours also objected, citing noise fears.

Cllr Brian Burling, who represents Willingham and Over, said the noise was what worried him.

However, members were told the landscape would screen views of the turbines from Denny Abbey and that additional tree planting would be carried out.

Gamlingay’s Cllr Sebastian Kindersley said applicant Nick Brown had put in a “very reasonable” request.

Cllr Robert Turner, who represents the Wilbrahams, said: “When you have the prevailing wind going from the Donarbon site to Denny Abbey, all you can hear is the background noise of the A10.

“I don’t think the abbey will be in a poor state after this.”