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Turbines refused amid concerns for landscape  

Credit:  Written by Abbey Buxton | Leek Post & Times | 10 November 2013 | www.leek-news.co.uk ~~

Plans to build two more wind turbines in the Staffordshire Moorlands have been refused.

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council planners last Thursday ruled on plans to build a 34.2 metre (112 feet) turbine at Three Nooks Farm, Horton, and a 34.2 metre (112 feet) turbine at Lane End Farm, Bradnop.

Both applications were recommended for approval, despite being in the green belt.

The Horton turbine would have generated enough energy to power 49 homes and was linked to a proposal for a 112-acre dairy farm milking approximately 90 cows.

The proposal received 126 objections relating to issues including potential harm to green belt, landscape impact, precedent, noise, wildlife concerns, its close proximity to a gas well, its impact on tourism, the effect on neighbours’ views and property values, and harm to health through ‘infra sound’.

Horton Parish Council and Biddulph Town Council also objected to the proposals as being inappropriate development on a creeping industrial site within the green belt.

Visit England also objected to the scheme.

A total of 44 representations of support were submitted.

The Bradnop turbine would have generated enough power to supply 53 homes and received 23 objections on the grounds of cumulative landscape impact, noise, its proximity to residents’ properties, that it was in the green belt, danger to low flying aircraft, no community benefit, detrimental effect on local wildlife, negative impact on tourism, and that two turbines already “dominate” their surroundings – referring to two structures already on nearby Morridge Top – the devaluation of properties and lack of community benefit.

Peak District National Park Authority objected due to significant and adverse visual impact, and harm to the landscape character of the area.

Visit England objected due to the landscape being an inappropriate location for wind turbines.

Councillor Linda Malyon said: “The green belt is sacrosanct, and while we need to take responsibility for renewable energy there are many other forms, not just wind turbines.

“The Staffordshire Moorlands is equally as beautiful as the surrounding Peak District, and we need to remember our heritage and what we’re going to leave behind. It’s in our hands.” Councillor Mike Worthington said: “If a local community doesn’t want then they shouldn’t have them. I love to see these turbines – out at sea where they should be.

“Farms are struggling and if they want a small turbine to help run the farm, that’s fine, but this isn’t about sustainability or viability; it’s about making more money. We have to make a stand; enough is enough.” Councillor Stephen Ellis added: “These are very open sites which can be seen from miles around and are certainly not limited views in any way shape or form; they are significant chunks of the Staffordshire Moorlands.” Councillor Mike Bowen said: “People get upset by the visual impact of these turbines on the beautiful landscape and we should be pushing other forms of renewable energy that aren’t as obtrusive or have as much impact.” However, Councillor John Fisher said: “Whether we like turbines or not is subjective.

“I don’t want to see these things peppered across the landscape, but we cannot go on as we are, using finite resources and burning fossil fuels, and the district council has to play its part.”

Source:  Written by Abbey Buxton | Leek Post & Times | 10 November 2013 | www.leek-news.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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