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Cheering as wind farm is rejected  

Credit:  Leicester Mercury | www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk 28 July 2012 ~~

Councillors have thrown out plans for a controversial wind farm.

A packed chamber at Melton Borough Council saw the development committee reject plans for nine 410ft turbines at Asfordby by two votes.

Peel Energy said its proposals for the former Asfordby mine site would produce enough energy to supply electricity to 8,500 homes.

More than 800 people living nearby had objected to the proposal, but the council’s planning officers had recommended the plans be approved as “it is considered that benefits of electricity generation outweigh any harm.”

However, after a three-hour debate on Thursday night, councillors voted against the plans – a decision which was greeted by cheers and applause from around 100 people.

Bill Musson, of campaign group STOP, formed to fight the proposal, said: “The outcome was exactly what we wanted.

We are absolutely delighted. There were good, strong planning arguments against it and thank goodness the committee listened to them.”

People in Asfordby and nearby villages of Ab Kettleby, Wartnaby and Grimston had objected.

They were concerned about the look of the wind farm, its noise and how near it would be to their homes, as well as its impact on tourism.

Representatives from STOP and Peel Energy, along with ward councillors, spoke before councillors debated the plan.

Councillor Elaine Holmes, who voted against the application, said yesterday: “It would completely mess up a beautiful area containing old stone churches. How on Earth could you stick something like that there? I know we’ve got to have renewable green energy, but I don’t think wind turbines are the most efficient way of producing it.”

Committee chairman, Councillor Pru Chandler, who voted in favour of the scheme, said after the meeting: “This is a retrograde step in the council’s renewable energy commitment.”

The committee rejected the plans by six votes to four.

Grounds for rejection included the impact of the wind farm on designated heritage assets and the visual impact on the local landscape.

Jonathan England, Peel Energy development director, said the firm may appeal. He said: “We are disappointed and surprised at the committee’s decision. We still have every confidence in the suitability of the former mine site for wind power generation.”

Source:  Leicester Mercury | www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk 28 July 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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