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Controversial Affetside wind turbine plans thrown out

Council chiefs have thrown out plans for a controversial wind turbine in Affetside.

Mr James Jennings asked Bury Council for permission to put up a 113ft-high turbine on land off Watling Street.

The proposal was so controversial, Bury North MP David Nuttall raised it in Parliament.

A total of 209 people formally objected and the council received 17 petitions, concerned the turbine would be too loud and would not fit in with a rural landscape.

Twelve people formally supported the application.

Because the land falls within the green belt, Mr Jennings had to demonstrate there were very special circumstances why the turbine should be built.

However, Bury Council planners ruled that he had not done so.

In the decision notice, officer Ms Jenny Townsend said the application was no different to an earlier application tabled in January, and therefore it was not possible to approve the application.

She said the council could not grant permission and then impose conditions to ensure council policy is adhered to.

Ms Townsend added: “The proposal as presented would not improve the economic, social and environmental conditions of the area.

“Due to the characteristics of the site and its relationship with the green belt, West Pennine Moors and special landscape area, the turbine, by virtue of its size, height and position is considered undue harm on the landscape and would have a seriously detrimental impact on the openness and character of the area.” Ms Townsend also said the turbine would unduly affect neighbours and the application did not contain enough information about noise.

One of the objectors was Dr Falmai Binns, from Bury Rural Inequalities Forum.

She said: “We are delighted with this news.

“We opposed this application very strongly on behalf of our members and are glad that the council has agreed with us.”

MP David Nuttall said: “I am pleased for all the local residents who would have been very adversely affected by this proposal.

“It is good news that it has been refused.

“The recently revised guidelines issued by the Government made it clear that applications for development in the green belt could be refused on various grounds and I have always been of the view that there were sufficient grounds in this case for the application to be refused.”

Applicant Mr Jennings said: “The decision wasn’t unexpected and we are now looking at further options.”