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‘Inspector Blight’ to make decision on Maesbury wind turbine

Whether or not a wind turbine can be built at Maesbury Quarry will be decided by a man dubbed by a national newspaper as “Inspector Blight”.

The Sunday Times ran an article claiming that Paul Griffiths “strikes fear into the hearts of opponents of wind farm developments” because he has “granted permission to developers to erect turbines in almost every case he has heard”.

The application to build the 103 metre turbine at the quarry was turned down by Mendip District Council in August leading to an appeal by site owner Guy Calder.

Appeals of this kind are decided by a Government appointed planning inspector – in this case Mr Griffiths.

The Sunday Times said that Mr Griffiths “approved turbine developments in 19 of the 22 cases he has heard since May 2009, overturning the decisions of local councillors”.

Nationally appeals are successful 56 per cent of the time.

At the meeting in which Mendip rejected the application Councillor Ron Forrest described wind turbines as “monstrosities which are industrialisation and are vandalising our green and pleasant land”.

However, not everyone at the meeting was opposed to the scheme.

Nick Pyatt, who lives near the site, said that we have a responsibility to reduce our emissions to set an example to other countries.

John Calder, speaking on behalf of the developers, said it was a myth that turbines were unpopular and pointed to more than 800 signatures he had collected which backed the plans.

Mr Griffiths is due to inspect the controversial site on January 3.