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Benington wind turbine appeal dismissed  

Credit:  Written by Sara Greek | Mercury | 28 November 2012 | www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk ~~

A farmer believes there will never be any wind turbines in Hertfordshire after his appeal for a structure in Benington was dismissed following a public inquiry.

Andrew Bott was “seriously disappointed” after Government planning inspector Paul Jackson rejected the controversial proposal for a 284ft (86.5m) turbine on land east of Walkern Road and North of High Elms Lane on Monday (November 26), on the grounds of the visual impact.

Mr Bott, whose previous application for three turbines in the area was thrown out in 2009, said: “We will have to think what to do next.

“I think the decision effectively rules out turbines in Hertfordshire so we will have to think of some other way of making renewable energy.

“We gave it our best shot and it didn’t work. We will carry on and think of something else.”

Mr Jackson determined that the turbine would be intrusive and dominating and damage the heritage significance of the nearby Gregory’s Farm.

Members of the Stop Benington Wind Farm Action Group were delighted with the announcement and said in a statement: “The group is obviously extremely pleased with the decision to dismiss the appeal.

“In his letter, the inspector agreed with our case that there would be unacceptable adverse impacts on the landscape and on Gregory’s Farm.

“While we accept the need for renewable energy projects, they must be sited in the right locations and this is not one of them, especially when considering the harm it would have caused for the very small amount of energy that would have been generated.”

East Herts Council also opposed the scheme.

Cllr Malcolm Alexander (Con, Ware Trinity), executive member for community safety and environment, said: “We are very pleased that the inspector has upheld our decision.

“The inspector agreed with us that the turbine would have spoiled a lovely part of the East Herts countryside and spoilt the enjoyment for many people using it.

“Although it would have provided some renewable energy, the benefits would clearly have been outweighed by the disadvantages.”

Mr Jackson concluded: “In the overall balance, the benefit is significantly and demonstrably outweighed by the disadvantages identified.

“I have taken account of all the other matters raised including the fact that permission is sought for a period of 25 years after which the turbine would be removed, but that is a very long time during which significant harm to the landscape and heritage interests would pertain. The appeal must be dismissed.”

Source:  Written by Sara Greek | Mercury | 28 November 2012 | www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk

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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