A “confused” parish council changed its mind at the last minute to withdrew support for a 200ft wind turbine, shortly before the application was booted out by the district council.
But the fight against the machine’s installation in Sellindge is not over, as those behind the plan said they are not ruling out an appeal.
Sellindge Parish Council had supported the application to build a turbine measuring up to 200ft from ground to blade tip, together with construction of an access track, crane pad and equipment housing cabinet, on land adjoining Somerfield Court Farm on Barrow Hill.
But it dramatically changed stance at the last minute, joining many residents and Stanford, Monks Horton and Lympne parish councils in opposing the plan.
The council made the U-turn last Tuesday, agreeing hours before Shepway District Council’s development control committee meeting to remove its support.
Campaigner Ronald Lello said: “Finally Sellindge came round to our thinking, but it was bizarre.
“They seemed very confused because they had been claiming the energy would only be used for the domestic use of the farmer, when clearly it was for the National Grid.
“They were claiming this right up until the last moment, even though it wasn’t in any of the paperwork.
“Finally, under a huge amount of pressure, they reversed it, but it’s extraordinary. They were so far off the general feeling.
“I’m happy with the result and it was a unanimous decision.”
Cliff Lane, the applicant’s agent, said it was “disappointing” that the council changed its mind and that he did not know why members had been under the impression the energy would not be sent to the National Grid. He added that the decision may be appealed.
Sellindge Parish Council clerk Linda Hedley questioned why the Herald was asking about the U-turn and said it was “fuelling fire for contention”.
She said councillors originally thought the energy would be for domestic use, but realised that was not the case when they saw a report four days before the development control meeting.
The plan is separate to the Ecotricity application to build six turbines in Sellindge, a decision on which is due in the new year.
Sellindge Parish Council was criticised by the Audit Commission for failing to complete its annual returns last year.
It was judged to have let down taxpayers by not reporting how it had used and protected their money by the set deadline.
Council clerk Linda Hedley apologised for the delay and said she had been ill while the independent auditor was on holiday.
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