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Inspector to judge impact of Shifnal turbines plan  

Credit:  Shropshire Star, www.shropshirestar.com 22 February 2012 ~~

A Government inspector has been asked to visit the homes of campaigners who claim their lives will be ruined by plans to build six 413ft tall wind turbines near Shifnal.

Two site visits are planned as part of a public inquiry to decide if the turbines can be built on land at New House Farm, in Brineton, despite South Staffordshire Council refusing permission for the development to go ahead.

At the inquiry, which started yesterday, campaigners Stop the Turbines Action Group (Stag) asked for visits to people’s homes to be included during the site visits, along with public rights of way.

Bristol-based Wind Prospect Developments Ltd is appealing against a decision by South Staffordshire Council to refuse permission for the turbines.

Planning inspector Elizabeth Fieldhouse will head out into the countryside to assess the scheme’s impact on the local landscape. The Monday and also for March 5 or 6.

Dozens of residents are opposed to the scheme including villagers in Blymhill, Brineton, Great Chatwell, Wheaton Aston, Marston, Onslow, High Onn and Little Onn.

More than 50 members of the public attended the start of the inquiry yesterday with more than 20 villagers hoping to air their objections to the inspector at a session this evening.

Yesterday South Staffordshire Council’s landscape witness, Michelle Bolger, told the inquiry of the impact the windfarm would have on the area.

She said that within 3km of the site there would be ‘major change to the aesthetic character of the landscape’.

She added that where the turbines could be seen ‘the magnitude of change’ on the area would be high.

Local MPs are also opposed to the scheme, including Bill Cash, MP for Stone.

He said: “I am very strongly supporting the objectors and have been doing so for a very long time. I cannot see any justification for the applicant’s proposals.”

Jonny Murphy, spokesman for Wind Prospect Developments, said: “We know that this is a very good site for a windfarm.

“We acknowledge the impact of the scheme and it is up to the inspector to weigh up the benefits of the scheme against those,” he added.

The public inquiry started yesterday at Blymhill Village Hall and will run over eight days, finishing on March 2.

Source:  Shropshire Star, www.shropshirestar.com 22 February 2012

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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