Two wind turbines have been given the cold shoulder – because they could pose a danger to aircraft safety.
Members of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council’s planning committee threw out the application for the wind turbines on land at Park House Farm, Bradnop, at a meeting last week.
The structures would have been located in an area close to where the Moorlands council has already approved the erection of two other turbines, one at Slate House Farm and the other at Garston Farm, along Morridge Top.
The new 50Kw turbines would have had a maximum height to blade tip of 34.5 metre (113 feet). But National Air Traffic Control Services warned they could harm its ability to navigate aircraft safely.
Speaking to committee members, chairman of Bradnop Parish Council, Brian Warrington, said: “I used to farm these premises for more than 30 years, so I know the land. There are better places to put them.
“The site is located near to the A523 Leek to Ashbourne Road and there is a lot of wildlife flying in the area.”
Also objecting to the project was resident Stephen Edwards, who said turbines were spoiling the visual impact of the area.
He said: “Tourism is being damaged by these structures as people are not coming to the Moorlands.
“These two turbines would be close to the ones approved and damage the locality. Solar panels could go on agricultural buildings which would not be seen.”
Planning officer Wayne Johnson told the committee that National Air Traffic Services would support the council if the application went to appeal, with technical points.
However, in a late letter sent to committee members, planning officers said the applicant had requested that the Secretary of State undertake a screening opinion to determine whether or not the proposals required an Environmental Impact Assessment, which could have implications for refusal reasons.
Councillor Frank Hopley said: “This is the danger of having more than one turbine on one location. I have spoken about this. We will be getting more applications if we approve this.”
Councillor Linda Malyon said she thought that the council had set a precedent in allowing other turbines.
She said: “It is unusual for National Air Traffic Services to make a comment. It seems a one-off as it is to do with a magnetic field. It is in the wrong place.”
Councillor John Fisher said there could be an upgrade on the National Radar equipment.
He said: “It is better to have a cluster of turbines than have them all over the place. This is the third application in the same area.”
The committee voted to refuse the application by 12 votes to one.
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