Two controversial wind turbine applications in North Devon have been rejected.
Plans for three 100-metre turbines at Dunsland Cross, near Holsworthy, and for a single 102-metre turbine at Alscott Farm, near Shebbear, were turned down yesterday.
Councillors at Torridge District Council voted unanimously to refuse the latter application – which would have been the area’s tallest turbine – by Dorset-based developer Infinergy.
The planning committee voted against the 500kw turbine on the grounds of its impact on the environment, despite having previously issued a recommendation for approval.
The Torridge branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England said it was “delighted” by the decisions. It previously expressed concern about the “proliferation” of wind farms and large turbines in North Devon and North Cornwall.
Penny Mills, chair of the Torridge Group of the CPRE, said: “The CPRE had objected to both applications because they were totally inappropriate. In the case of the 102m 500kw turbine at Alscott, Shebbear, the sheer enormous physical size of this turbine was out of all proportion with the amount of power it would generate.
“There was no justification for a height of such magnitude, which would have huge impacts over such a wide area. It was far too large. The small benefit did not outweigh the adverse impact on the landscape and unspoiled countryside.”
It was the second time a wind farm proposal had been submitted and refused for the site at Dunsland Cross.
“Because of the close proximity to dwellings, to their amenity and the environment, the impact on wildlife and the SSSI, it really just is not the right place for a wind farm,” added Ms Mills.
Several letters of objection over the Alscott Farm turbine were filed by local residents to the council.
Opponents claimed the turbine would have been in “far too close proximity” to residential properties. Protesters in the local area met council committee members during a site visit on Wednesday.
Campaigner Martin Fowler said the turbine would have been both “a blight on the landscape and a nuisance”.
Mr Fowler said he was “appalled” by the level of division the turbine had created in the community.
“Peaceful communities are being torn apart by wind turbines, and good neighbours are no longer talking to each other,” he added.
Another opponent, Peter Blake, said: “Whilst there would be a modest but important contribution to renewable energy, and a small ecological gain, these benefits would be outweighed in this case by the significant detrimental impact on the surrounding character of the landscape.”
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