The tallest single wind turbine to date in Torridge has been approved by the Planning Inspectorate at appeal, despite the district council refusing it.
The single commercial turbine measuring 79m will be built on Holsworthy Beacon following the appeal decision last week.
It will be the highest single turbine in the district but there is a cluster of three operational turbines measuring 80m at Darracott Moor Wind Farm in Torrington.
Permission was also given to a cluster of four 100m turbines at Galsworthy Farm in Buckland Brewer in 2008 but they are not yet operational.
In her report planning inspector Jill Kingaby said: “In my opinion
the undulating and spacious landscape would be capable of absorbing the proposed turbine, without significant harm to its character.
“The turbine would be sufficiently far from Holsworthy Church and the conservation area that it would not damage the understanding and appreciation of these or other historic features.”
The inspector also clarified the turbine was in accordance with the Climate Change Act 2008 and would help the area meet renewable energy targets.
But Alan Watkins, who will live just over 800m away from the turbine, said in a letter of objection to Torridge District Council: “I fail to see how this turbine will benefit the local area. It creates no employment and the energy it creates will go back into the grid for which we pay dearly.”
Penny Mills, chairman of the Torridge branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said: “The CPRE are very disappointed with the inspector’s decision.
“This will be the tallest single turbine so far in the Torridge district and will have a huge impact and be seen for miles around. While it will earn a lot of money for the developer from Bristol, lets face it, it will have a detrimental impact on our landscape here in Torridge.”
The initial application had not gone before the council’s plans committee. It was a delegated decision by a planning officer and was refused because of the impact it would have on the surrounding area.
One Wind Renewables the company behind the turbine, said they hoped the turbine would be operational within a year.
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