Contentious proposals to build two wind turbines in Thorpe Satchville have been approved by a planning inspector on appeal.
Villagers fighting the plans had previously shed tears of joy when Melton Council’s development committee turned down proposals for a 77m high turbine at Park Farm and a 46m high turbine at neighbouring Hall Farm on grounds that they would, due to their height position and movement, introduce a new element into the landscape which would be widely visible.
But the applicants behind both schemes appealed and, on Thursday (May 23), inspector Wendy Burden gave them the go-ahead.
In relation to both turbine applications, Insp Burden acknowledged they would be visible over a wide area but found that they would be ‘within a broad undulating landscape which can absorb such structures’ and ‘would not be so dominant as to cause significant harm to the appearance of the local area’.
She added: “I consider each proposal would not be so dominant on its own, in association with existing turbines or that proposed nearby, to cause such harm to the character or appearance of the countryside so as to outweigh the presumption in favour of sustainable development set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.
“I accept the wind turbines would be significant new features within the local area, and that the physical quality of the area is greatly valued by large numbers of residents. It would introduce new structures with moving blades, but there are movements from vehicles on nearby roads and this is an actively farmed landscape where there will be movements of tractors and larger farm vehicles within the open fields.”
A raft of conditions apply to both applications including a limit on noise levels.
In respect of concerns voiced about a precedent being set regarding other turbine applications, Insp Burden said: “Whether or not these proposals would cause other farmers to submit applications for individual wind turbines, each such proposal would fall to be considered on its own merits. Any permission in this case could not be regarded as setting a precedent.”
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