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Refusal of Nun Wood Wind Farm near Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes MP Mark Lancaster has welcomed the news that a controversial wind farm application at Nun Wood has been turned down on appeal by the Secretary of State for Local Government Eric Pickles.

The site which fell over three separate counties and comprised 12 wind turbines was originally refused by Milton Keynes, Wellingborough and Bedford Borough Council but the applicants Npower appealed to Mr Pickles.

The site was originally granted planning permission in 2011, but the decision was later quashed following a legal challenge by Milton Keynes Council.

Npower had hoped to overturn the decision and go ahead with building the farm, which would be situated between Lavendon and Warrington in Milton Keynes Borough, Harrold in Bedford Borough and out to Bozeat in Wellingborough District.

In his overall conclusions Mr Pickles dismissed Npower’s appeal stating that: “Although the scheme addresses climate change and renewable energy considerations, this is outweighed by the inadequate protection of the character and quality of local landscapes and overall, on balance, the adverse impacts of the scheme would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.”

On hearing the news local MP Mark Lancaster said; “The viability of this scheme was always in doubt and the Secretary of State’s decision will do much to reassure communities up and down the country that they can resist large wind farm developments in locations that are simply not appropriate.

“I’m delighted that through a long hard campaign the right decision has been made.”

It was estimated that the site would meet the electricity needs of around 14,000 homes each year and bring contracts of up to £11 million into these areas.

However, campaigners against the development said back in June this year that the grounds on which the plan was passed in 2011 no longer stand.

Brian Skitterall, chairman of the Bozeat and Lavendon Oppose the Turbines (BLOT) campaign group, said in June: “Last time approval was granted on the basis of ‘urgent need’. We now have enough sustainable energy provision to meet our 2020 targets so it’s no good rehearsing those arguments.

“This could pose a level of harm that has not been seen before and could prove to be fatal to the bridle businesses in the area.”