A court decision has finally drawn a line under Purbeck’s Alaska Wind Farm saga.
Three judges, who deliberated following a short hearing at London’s Royal Courts of Justice, ruled to uphold the original High Court decision backing the scheme.
Gerry Bayliss, of South Trigon, Wareham, had won the right to challenge that High Court decision in October.
Mr Bayliss, a member of the Dorset Against Rural Turbines (DART) group, was attempting to stop the wind farm being built at Master’s Quarry, East Stoke.
Following last week’s court ruling, he said: “I’m afraid that is it.
“All we can hope for now is that money the government pays for subsidies will be cut and this may affect the decision to build the farm.
“When these things are built I can just imagine the uproar from some of the people around here who have been totally apathetic about the whole thing.”
Infinergy, the company behind the project to erect a quartet of 125-metre turbines, had already received High Court backing, after DART challenged the Government Planning Inspectorate’s decision to approve the scheme and lost.
This decision followed a lengthy public inquiry in April 2012, launched a year after Purbeck District Council ruled against the proposal.
Speaking ahead of the latest court ruling, Mr Bayliss had said: “Hopefully common sense will prevail and the judge will uphold PDC’s 2011 decision to reject the application, saving Purbeck from the threat of four huge, inefficient turbines and the knock-on effect on tourism, the area of outstanding natural beauty, wildlife and house prices.”
The proposals have divided public opinion since the first application was lodged around seven years ago.
While DART and Dorset’s Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) strongly opposed the project, local renewable energy supporters from Yes2Wind and the Purbeck Environmental Action Team supported the scheme.
During a number of district planning meetings attended by the Daily Echo, Dorset residents from both sides of the debate spoke passionately about the perceived pros and cons of the wind farm. Master’s Quarry landowner Will Bond, partner in the wind farm project, is on record saying the Planning Inspectorate’s decision endorsing the wind farm was ‘clear and unequivocal’ and that DART had already challenged that decision and lost.
In a statement released after news of this latest Appeal Court challenge arose, he said: “We have a valid planning consent to build the wind farm which we are implementing with the support of the majority of people in Purbeck.”
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