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Wind farm kicked out as ‘a blot on the landscape’

Campaigners are celebrating after an appeal to build four 125-metre wind turbines near Kimbolton was thrown out.

Government planning inspector Paul Jackson announced that an appeal by developer Broadview Energy to build Bicton Wind Farm had been dismissed following a lengthy public inquiry.

It was decided the scheme would spoil the area’s “sensitive character”.

Huntingdonshire District Council rejected the proposal last year because it contravened planning policies and damaged the cultural heritage of the area within 2km of the scheme, on the former Kimbolton Airfield.

Broadview Energy launched an appeal, leading to an inquiry at the council’s headquarters during different periods from last August until January.

In dismissing the appeal, the inspector said: “The sensitive character of this valley landscape would be seriously adversely affected, the enjoyment of the attractive valley landscape impaired and the settings of important heritage assets significantly harmed.”

Martin Patterson, chairman of Stop Bicton Wind Farm and founding chairman Richard Murphy said in a statement: “We are both delighted by this result.

“It has vindicated the district council’s own planning guidance that developers should ‘avoid locating turbines within the more intimate landscape of the valleys and along valley crests where they will be out of scale with the landscape and settlements such as Kimbolton’ and has found, as we have always maintained, that the harm of this development would outweigh any benefits.”

Broadview’s project manager, Tom Cosgrove, said: “We are obviously disappointed with the decision and we continue to believe the site to be a good location for a wind farm of this size.

“We have invested a lot of time in preparing this application and engaging with the local community, and we believed we had found the correct balance between maximising the energy generation of the proposal and minimising impacts on the local environment. We are currently digesting the inspector’s report and considering our next steps.”

The developers now have six weeks to decide whether or not to challenge the result.

However, they can only do this on a point of law through a judicial review in the High Court.