Determined campaigners fighting a wind farm which they say will wreck the Stafford countryside turned out in droves for the start of a planning appeal.
Blymhill Village Hall was packed out on Tuesday for the first day of an appeal on the refusal to create six 128-metre turbines at New House Farm in King Street, near Brineton.
Householders in Church Eaton, Wheaton Aston, High Onn and Blymhill oppose the plan and were overjoyed when it was thrown out by South Staffordshire Council earlier this year.
But the applicant, Bristol-based Wind Prospect, lodged an appeal against the decision.
The company believed insufficient weight had been given to the need for the renewable energy development.
A second planning application for an 80-metre anemometry mast to measure wind speeds at Brineton was refused by the council last year – but the decision was overturned following an appeal in the summer.
Residents, who formed the action group Stag (Stop Turbines Action Group), are determined the latest decision will not be overturned by a planning inspector.
They worked to raise £50,000 to hire experts, including a landscape architect, to help fight their case.
The campaigners fear the turbines will be seen for miles, ruin the countryside and cause house prices to plummet.
Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy and Stone MP Bill Cash are backing the residents.
But Wind Prospect believes the site would be important in making a contribution in tackling climate change and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
Opening statements from both sides were heard on the first day of the appeal.
The hearing is set to continue until March 2.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding