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Wind farm plans refused to delight of protesters

Villagers packed a Cherwell District Council meeting to protest against plans for a 60ft weather mast near their homes.

The Shotteswell, Hanwell and Mollington Wind Farm Action group (SHAMWAG) challenged a planning application for a meteorological mast on a site near Bury Court Farm to the north of Hanwell, which could have marked the first step in the development of an eight-turbine wind farm.

But last Thursday’s council planning committee voted down the Regenco proposals by eight votes to five after Stratford district councillor Simon Jackson spoke out against the plans. Shotteswell parish councillor Val Ingram, who has helped raise awareness of the application, said: “We’re very pleased that the proposal was defeated but I think we’re just waiting for the appeal.

“If they do appeal the parish councillors will have to respond again and make submissions.

“We’ve got to be vigilant because this meeting will not be the end of it.” SHAMWAG protesters maintained a presence outside the council offices at Bodicote House all day in the run up to the crucial vote.

Shotteswell residents Anne and Jim Omer lent their voices to the campaign saying: “We need to draw attention to what’s going on. Once they get an application approved for one of these things they will spring up all the way down the M40 corridor.”

The Cherwell vote came after more than 500 letters of objection were registered on the council’s website and a fortnight after Stratford District Council voted against the plans.

Robin Basten, development manager for Regeneco gave a response to the decision saying: “We are disappointed by Cherwell’s decision to refuse the planning application.

“This refusal will cause a delay in us being able to assess whether or not this site is viable for a wind farm. Regrettably this delay will only prolong uncertainty for the local community regarding this matter.”

Broadview Energy recently lodged an appeal against a decision by South Northamptonshire Council to reject plans for a five- turbine wind farm between the villages of Helmdon, Stutchbury and Greatworth.