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Victory for villagers in Churchover windfarm battle

Villagers are celebrating after planners rejected an application to build a windfarm near Rugby.

Energy company RES wanted to install four 100m-tall turbines in on the Swift Valley, by Churchover.

But Rugby Borough Council’s planning committee last week refused permission amid fears the masts would interfere with air traffic control signals.

And Dr Chris Down, a member of a campaign group opposing the plan, is among those delighted with the outcome. He said: “We believes local democracy was at stake, with every local parish council, Lutterworth Town, Harborough District and Leicestershire County Councils, our MP, English Heritage, CPRE, ramblers, birders, riders, fishers and over 90 per cnet of residents objecting.”

RES had claimed the windfarm would bring economic benefits – but this is contested by fellow campaigner Lorne Smith. He said: “RES have repeatedly propagandised their wind turbines in economic terms but people with common-sense, who may like the concept of renewables, know that the primary purpose of wind turbines and solar farms is to generate money for land owners, overseas manufacturers and development speculators at the expense of the public and increased fuel poverty, at which they are very efficient.”

RES meanwhile has voiced dismay at the verdict. Dave Cox, the company’s head of development in England, said: ““We were very disappointed. We have been able to clearly show that the wind farm would have no significant effects on local people, the environment or wildlife. The only concern raised was with regard to the air-ground-air communications mast at Pailton Radio Station. There is no evidence that windfarms interfere with this technology.”

He added: “We will be reviewing the committee’s reasons for rejecting the proposal in some detail and considering our options in the face of this negative decision.”