The wind farm proposed for Purbeck has been given the green light in a sensational turnaround.
Plans for four turbines at Masters Pit, East Stoke, were thrown out by the district council last year, but yesterday it was announced that a planning inspector had allowed an appeal by Wimborne-based Purbeck Wind Farm LLP, which trades as Infinergy.
It means the development can now go ahead, albeit constrained by a long list of conditions, including actions to mitigate noise.
The decision has been met with disbelief by the council and wind farm opponents, but the firm behind it and supporters have welcomed the news.
Geoff Edwardes, of Dorset Against Rural Turbines, said: “It’s obviously very disappointing for us and for thousands of people in Purbeck and visitors, because it’s not just the landscape, it’s the noise and the efficiency of them.
“Here we are going right against democracy – the council didn’t want it, the people of Purbeck didn’t want it.”
Supporters argue that around three-quarters of those who wrote to the council during the planning process were in favour of the development, with objections coming largely from those living closest to the site.
Derek Moss, from the Yes to Wind group, said: “This is brilliant news; it means Purbeck is taking a small step to becoming sustainable.”
Esbjorn Wilmar, MD of Infinergy, said it was now possible the turbines could be turning by the end of 2014.
“We’re very pleased indeed because we’ve been working on this project for well over eight years, so it’s been a very long process and as a local company that works all over the country we’re pleased to have a wind farm in our own back yard.
“I think we’ve all wasted enough money on the process and we should get on with it and have some renewable energy,” he added.
Cllr Peter Wharf, chairman of Purbeck District Council’s planning board, said the council was disappointed.
“Purbeck District Council was clearly not in favour of this finely-balanced application.
“However, the inspector recognised there were issues on both sides and came down in favour of the development, citing economic and environmental benefits,” he added.
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