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Moorlands communities celebrate as plans for wind turbines thrown out

Campaigners in four communities are celebrating after plans to put up wind turbines were thrown out.

Farmers had applied to install two turbines in Thorncliffe, near Leek, one at Lask Edge and one in Cheadle.

Now Staffordshire Moorlands District Council has refused all three schemes, which included:

A 34.2-metre (112ft) turbine at Triangle Farm, Thorncliffe;

A 14.8-metre (48 ft) turbine at Whitehouse Farm, Thorncliffe;

A 17.75-metre (58ft) turbine at Lask Edge Farm, Lask Edge;

And a 46.3-metre (151ft) turbine at Field Farm, in Draycott Cross Road, Brookhouses, Cheadle.

Residents John Dining and Susan Howard, from Thorncliffe, along with Rob Barker, representing Tittesworth Parish Council, spoke against both applications for the village, which lies on the border of the Peak District National Park. Mr Barker told the planning committee: “The parish council is totally opposed to the turbines which will be very visible for miles.

“They will be harmful to the landscape.”

Mr Dining added: “The turbines at nearby Morridge already cause concern. This is a special landscape area and they will create noise pollution.

“Residents feel that local people should have more say in the matter.”

Ms Howard added: “Residents are strongly opposed as this will have an adverse visual impact on the area.

“Should they be approved the floodgates will open.

“The Moorlands depends on tourism and studies show tourists are diverted away from some Scottish regions where turbines have been put up.” However, Dominic Cooney, agent for the applicant for the Triangle Farm scheme, said the turbine would not be visible from most parts of the Peak Park.

He added: “There have been identical turbines allowed at Morridge Top, Calton and Rudyard. An appeal has also been allowed for one to be installed at The Mount in Leek.”

Councillor Mike Worthington said the proposed Cheadle turbine would be like a ‘mini Blackpool Tower’.

“He added: “It is totally inappropriate. Farmers are not listening to local people.

“Turbines are being used to make money to the detriment of the community.”

Cheadle councillor Ron Locker added: “This is a big intrusion.

“A case has not been made for special reasons.”

But the applicant’s agent, Paul Coales, said: “The income would be used to finance the family’s 162-acre farm. The turbine will not impede on any residents.”

At Lask Edge, resident Hal Wilson said: “I would be the nearest neighbour. It is too close to our property.

“The views of the public should not be ignored.”