Residents have lost their latest planning fight against a 74-metre wind turbine near the M6.
They argue the mast at Stafford Services, on the outskirts of Stone, is too close to their homes and the motorway.
Applicant Moto Hospitality was granted permission for a 61.1-metre, 330-kilowatt (KW) turbine in 2011 and plans to extend it by a further 13 metres to 242 feet were approved in August.
But the mast has gone out of production so the firm applied for permission to install an 800 kW alternative model, restricted to 500 kW.
Now members of Stafford Borough Council’s planning committee have approved the latest application for the site off Eccleshall Road.
Joan Hope, who lives in Cold Norton, Chebsey, said: “I don’t know how the first plans were approved because the energy generated will only power the service station and the residents won’t get any benefit.
“The turbine will be a blight on the landscape.
“We have been trying to stop it being built for two years and it’s a huge worry for us and for the residents of Chebsey.
“We aren’t surprised that the councillors approved the new plans because the damage has already been done. This developer can build the turbine and there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s very upsetting.”
Lakesedge Residents’ Association chairman Brian Carter, of Eccleshall Road, said: “We believed there was only one sensible conclusion that could be reached by the councillors and that was it was time to say ‘no to Moto’.
Stone MP Bill Cash has objected to both planning applications for the turbine.
He said: “I objected to the proposed turbine on the grounds that there will be a negative visual impact on the surrounding landscape.
“There is a disproportionate increase in the size of the turbine, it will be visually intrusive and that will all be exacerbated by the change in location.
“On top of that, wind turbines are inefficient, uneconomic and based on massive subsidies and which – far from being environmentally friendly or a sustainable source of energy – spoil the landscape, damage the local community, and drive down house prices.”
Councillors approved the latest application – despite fears the developer might try to increase the use from 500 kW.
Councillor Jeremy Pert, representing the Eccleshall ward, said: “The new turbine will be 800 kW and I don’t want us being powerless to do anything about these creeping changes to the plan. This application is deeply unpopular.”
Councillor Bryan Cross said he felt the turbine would be too tall and too close to the M6.
He said: “I was driving on the M1 recently and there are a number of these turbines there. They are a distraction and I am surprised there have not been more accidents.”
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