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Turbine plans revealed for Shropshire beauty spot

Controversial have been submitted for a 60ft-high wind turbine on a farm in the south Shropshire countryside.

The Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) partnership is objecting to the application for the turbine at Villa Farm, Cardington, near Church Stretton. They say it will ruin the views of the rolling hills.

In a letter submitted to Shropshire Council, local authority planning and landscape officer Glynn Barratt, on behalf of the partnership, outlined the group’s objections.

He said: “The AONB Partnership objects to this planning application on the grounds of its negative visual impact within both the local and more distant landscape.

“The proposed site for the turbine lies in old pasture land and in close proximity to the lane south from Cardington village.

“This is a particularly unspoilt and tranquil part of the AONB landscape, close to the picturesque village of Cardington which has within it several listed buildings, a fine medieval church and a conservation area.

“These iconic hills are a significant part of the Shropshire Hills area of outstanding natural beauty and are criss-crossed with a network of public footpaths which are frequently used by visiting walkers.

“The proposed turbine would be clearly seen from many of the vantage points in these hills.

“In summary, while the AONB Partnership supports the concept of renewable energies, a balance between the advantages accrued and the negative impact of such infrastructure upon the landscape of the AONB is considered of paramount importance.

“In sensitive locations the AONB Partnership objects to the imposition of highly visible wind turbines and urges the consideration of other alternative technologies, such as solar photovoltaic cell arrays where appropriate.

“Large agricultural buildings with shallow roof gradients can provide suitable sites for such installations.”

Derby-based Bowler Energy LLP is the company behind the planning application, in conjunction with the Pinches family who own the land.

The energy firm charges nearly £70,000 to install the turbines according to its website – but promises landowners annual returns of between £9,000 and £12,000.

A decision on the planning application is expected to be made later this year.