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More turbines in the pipeline

Plans are due to be submitted that could see two more 100m wind turbines go up on a hillside near Ashbourne.

Work is due to start on four huge turbines at Carsington Pastures, permission was given in March for a fifth turbine nearby in Manystones Lane, Brassington, and now Longcliffe Quarries is nearing the end of its consultation into proposals for a pair of turbines at its Ryder Point site.

The firm began discussing the plans with its neighbours last summer and, through public exhibitions, energy director John Shields explained the two 102m turbines would help slash the company’s £3.5m energy bill.

As part of the final stage of consultation before plans are submitted in the next few months, Longcliffe Quarries is inviting people to further exhibitions to explain in detail what the plans will entail before they go off to the planning authority.

Three exhibitions have been arranged next month, with everyone welcome to attend, and the first is due to take place in Brassington Village Hall on Wednesday, July 4 from 3pm until 9pm.

Two more will be held, at Wirksworth’s Eco Centre, from 9am until 5pm on Friday, July 6 and then on Saturday, July 7 from 9am until 3pm.

Concerns were raised during the last consultation over the visual impact and noise from the turbines affecting the local area, but Longcliffe Quarries insists strict guidelines will be complied with and that there will be a “minimal visual impact” over the five other turbines due to be put up at the site.

At a meeting of the Derbyshire Dales District Council southern area planning committee in March, members admitted to feeling “powerless” to stop applications of this nature.

Fears were expressed that, if they were to refuse the application, their decision could be over-turned on appeal and they might have to cover the legal costs.

Despite fierce local objection to the Carsington Pastures project, no objections were raised over the Viaton application from villagers living near to Manystones Lane and Brassington Parish Council, representing villagers, said there was “little appetite” among residents to engage in “what seems to be a foregone conclusion.”