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Victory for protesters as Staffordshire wind farm rejected

Jubilant campaigners were celebrating victory after after a Government inspectorate threw out plans for a controversial towering wind farm in South Staffordshire.

The decision marks the end of a three-year battle between villagers in Brineton, near Weston Park, and developers Wind Prospect.

Villagers set up the Stop Turbines Action Group (STAG) to fight against the plans for six 413ft high turbines on the Bradford Estate. Proposals were initially rejected in April 2011 by South Staffordshire Council.

The authority dubbed the proposals as “hideous”, but developers appealed to the Government Planning Inspectorate.

But, dismissing the appeal following a two-week inquiry, Elizabeth Fieldhouse said the turbines would have been “an unacceptable visual intrusion”.

In her conclusion the inspector added: “Overall, the benefits of the project are outweighed by the totality of the harm and the balance falls firmly against the grant of planning permission.”

The report took into account the landscape of the area, visual intrusion, noise disturbance, road safety and public footpaths.

Campaigners today spoke of their delight.

Tony Lendon, who has led a group of 50 villagers against the scheme, said: “My overriding emotion is of relief. It’s taken three long years but it’s been well worth the wait.”

Steve Winterflood, chief executive of South Staffordshire Council, said: “We all recognise the need for low carbon energy but it is our view such decisions need to take into account the effect on the local environment.”

Developer Wind Prospect expressed their disappointment at the decision, saying the wind farm would have generated enough electricity for 6,500 homes.

Development manager Jonny Murphy said: “We feel that a real opportunity to create a significant amount of clean renewable energy has been lost.”