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Hundreds protest against plans to build wind turbine at Higher Overton Farm

Hundreds of residents are fighting plans for a wind turbine at a farm for the second time.

The tower is proposed for land at Higher Overton Farm, between Biddulph and Congleton.

Marshall and Elizabeth Boffey, the owners of the Grade II-listed farm, on Overton Road, have submitted revised plans for a 34-metre high structure.

They say it will reduce carbon emissions and energy bills at their dairy business.

Any surplus energy will be sold back to the national grid.

But residents remain unhappy about the proposed turbine, with 353 letters of objections being sent to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council.

Biddulph town councillor Roger Deane said: “If we allow a development of this nature to go ahead in a rural area then I think we are setting a dangerous example.

“I am all for alternative technology, especially when it is renewable.

“But to allow an application of this type and height to go ahead would set a dangerous president.”

Mr and Mrs Boffey first applied to the district council last October for permission to install a turbine.

The original application, which was rejected last year, asked for a 46-metre high structure – 12-metres taller than the revised proposal.

Councillors felt the structure – about the same height as 10 double-decker buses – was inappropriate and was on a green belt land.

More than 180 objections were also received against the initial proposal.

The owners attempted to overturn the decision but a planning inspector dismissed the appeal on July 26.

Now, Mr and Mrs Boffey are hoping the project will get the go-ahead after scaling down their plans.

A planning report regarding the proposal states: “The revised application is an improvement as it would be located more remotely than previously, be of a diminished height and on lower ground levels.”

Plans show that the tower, generator hub and blades would be finished in white.

Councillor Andrew Hart, who represents Biddulph North, said: “I am extremely disappointed to see the new application.

“I feel not much of the criteria has changed at all and it should be refused point blank.

“It is still in a greenbelt and the visual impact is no different. You will be able to see it from the Cheshire Plain.

“We have a lot of intelligent residents in this area and I don’t think on the whole they are opposed to renewable energy if it was smaller and joined on to a property.

“But this is not welcome and if we don’t stand up for ourselves now we may be stuck with this turbine obscuring our view for the next 20 years.”

The revised application will be considered by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Planning Committee next Thursday.