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Four wind turbine plans thrown out

Four planning applications to erect wind turbines at locations across the Staffordshire Moorlands have been thrown out by councillors.

Members of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council’s planning applications committee refused permission for a maximum height turbine of 34.2 metres (112 feet) at Triangle Farm, Thorncliffe; a 14.8 metre (48 feet) turbine at Whitehouse Farm, Thorncliffe; and a 17.75 metre (58 feet) turbine at Lask Edge Farm, Lask Edge.

The committee also refused permission, despite planning officers recommending approval, of a 46.3 metre (151 feet) turbine at Field Farm, Draycott Cross Road, Brookhouses, Cheadle.

Residents of Thorncliffe, John Dining and Susan Howard, along with Rob Barker, who was representing Tittesworth Parish Council, spoke against both Thorncliffe applications.

Mr Barker said: “The parish council is totally opposed to the applications. which will be very visible for miles.

“They will be harmful to the landscape, which is our heritage.”

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

“Residents are against the development and feel that local people should have more say in the matter.”

Susan Howard said: “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, but studies have shown that tourists are being diverted away from some Scotland regions where turbines have been erected.”

However, the applicant’s agent for the Triangle Farm application, Dominic Cooney, said that the turbine would not be visible from most parts of the Peak Park.

He said: “There has been identical turbines allowed at Morridge Top, Calton Moor and Red Earth Farm at Rudyard. An appeal has also been allowed for one to be erected at The Mount in Leek.”

Applicant Kevin Burns explained his site had a holiday cottage and more than 90 per cent of visitors said a turbine would not put them off coming to the area.

He said: “Our turbine would be seen from Buxton Road, like the Red Earth one can be seen from Macclesfield Road. Also when we look over Leek Sainsbury’s is well lit up, and you can also see Jodrell Bank.”

The applicant for the Whitehouse farm application, Ellen Rees, said that the turbine would be sited in their own property complex and not in the open.

She said: “A landscape assessment shows that the turbine is virtually not visible.

“The rental agent for our cottage does not oppose it, nor do the holidaymakers.

“To compare the height, it is like a telegraph pole and it is in the curtilage of our property.”

Councillors voted unanimously to refuse both applications.

The committee also unanimously voted to refuse the Lask Edge Farm application.

Nearby resident Hal Wilson said: “I would be the nearest neighbour and only 150 metres away. It is to close to our property. Both my wife and myself have health issues.

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

Councillor Jim Davies said he had concerns as there were 291 objections and also the Council for the Protection of Rural England objected.

He said: “This is a skyline position and the proposals are not special enough in this area.”