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Litlington windfarm plans refused over fears it would destroy the landscape

Councillors blew away plans for a wind farm at Litlington this week after concerns were raised that it would destroy a picturesque landscape.

Plans to build five 100m wind turbines on land at Highfield Farm, near the thatched-roof village, were almost unanimously rejected amid fears it would ruin the area’s natural beauty.

Campaigners against the proposals argued that the turbines – which would have been taller than Big Ben – would dominate a “quiet and gentle” landscape.

Phil Jones , village resident and member of the action group, Stop Litlington Wind Farm, said: “The village is an area with a wealth of cultural heritage that is valued by residents and visitors.”

Speaking at the meeting of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning committee on Tuesday, Mr Jones added: “The Orwellian plans would completely alter the landscape.

“The impact of them cannot justify the benefits.”

Alan Pipe, Chairman of Litlington Parish Council, said: “The turbines would blight the landscape for generations to come.

“If the goal is to harness the power of the wind, this is a poor place attempt it.”

The applicants, Highfield Wind Energy Limited, said the industrial wind farm would produce enough renewable energy to power 5,000 homes in the area.

Representing the applicants at the meeting, John Fairlie said: “As well as powering 5,000 homes, the project would bring significant economic benefits to the community.”

Also supporting the application was former scientist and Ashwell resident Stewart Reddaway, who said: “Onshore wind is the cheapest low-CO2 electricity. Without it, there would either be more CO2, or more expensive electricity.

“As well as reducing CO2, benefits include energy security, reducing coal pollution and avoiding nuclear risks.

“Many people find turbines elegant, and are interested to come and see them.”

He added: “Climate change causes deaths, climate refugees and destroys livelihoods on a large scale.

“Balancing this against spoilt views is highly subjective.

But, opponents argued that the actual amount of electricity the turbines would produce would be 20 to 40 per cent lower than the company’s predictions and that any benefits brought by the project would be outweighed by the loss of the landscape.

Nigel Cathcart, parish councillor for Bassingbourn, said: “This is purely a commercial operation and local people will not accept the turbines.

“I think that the impact on the landscape is a very crucial factor. It is something the people value so much.

“If you are not careful you will soon get a whole network of wind farms.”

Councillors voted in favour of the farm’s refusal by 12 to one.