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Bicton wind farm appeal dismissed

A Planning Inspector, appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has ruled that the proposed erection of four wind turbines to the west of Bicton Industrial Estate, near Kimbolton is unacceptable.

The Inspector concluded that the environmental and economic benefits of the scheme were outweighed by the harm the proposal would cause to landscape and visual amenity, the setting of numerous heritage assets and the outlook of local residents.

Huntingdonshire District Council and the Stop Bicton Windfarm Group provided detailed technical evidence to a public inquiry between August 2011 and February of this year. The Inspector found that the turbines would result in a “marked distracting and alien impact in an area of recognised landscape quality” around the Kym valley. He concluded that the turbines would harm the appreciation of large parts of the heritage of the area and distract from important relationships between historic buildings. In particular he noted that turbines, which he considered to be “a significant modern intrusion in this highly sensitive historic environment”, would be seen in certain views turning above the roof of Kimbolton Castle. The impact of the “dominant modern industrial” turbines on the character of Tilbrook and its church was also considered to be highly significant.

Councillor Nick Guyatt, executive councillor for strategic planning, said: “This is a really important planning decision in that it upholds the council’s policy position and supports its concern about harm to the environment and our great heritage.”

Jonathan Gray, District Councillor for Kimbolton said: “I am delighted with the outcome, not just the result itself but because residents, parish councils, the Action Group and the district council all worked together in a united and effective way. This was a good day for localism and our community”.