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Planners blow Stone wind turbine plans away  

Credit:  Staffordshire Newsletter | May 15, 2014 | www.staffordshirenewsletter.co.uk ~~

Residents in a village near Stone say they are delighted after plans for a wind turbine in the green belt were blown out by planners.

They said they were ready to fight any appeal to the bitter end after Leicestershire-based Hallmark Power’s application to build the 242-feet-high turbine on land in Cotwalton Road, Cotwalton, was refused.

The company said the three-blade turbine would bring environmental benefits but hundreds of residents and three parish councils objected to the plans.

Hallmark had asked for the decision to be deferred so they could address concerns raised in the officer’s report about their report on visual impact.

Stafford Borough Council’s planning manager Jon Holmes told a meeting of the authority’s planning committee the land was agricultural and designated as green belt.

“I don’t believe very special circumstances exist,” he said.

Objector Brian Scott said: “This application must be refused, not just because of the negative visual impact but because the claimed benefit will be massively outweighed by the harm it will cause. It will harm the setting of the Moddershall Valley conservation area, it will harm the setting of the grade two listed properties.

“It will be as high as a 25-storey block of flats and will be seen as far away as north Stafford.”

Hallmark Power’s Stephen Bate said: “I have no doubt the application will be refused. My main concern is it won’t be given fair consideration by your committee.”

Proposing the plans be refused Councillor Malcolm Millichap said: “The supporters suggest there will be little visual impact. I disagree with that. We have seen wind turbines in the countryside in other places and there’s no way this is going to hide itself away.”

Councillor Mike Winkle said: “To put a 242-feet-high wind turbine in such a sensitive and beautiful area is totally unacceptable. The officer’s written and verbal reports have explained clearly and fairly the facts of the case. I’m against this development.”

Councillor Bryan Cross said: “The fact this is in green belt and the visual impact on this local amenity of Moddershall Valley defies belief to be quite honest.”

The committee voted unanimously to refuse the application.

After the meeting Gill Stanford of Communities Against Turbines said: “We are delighted but we are sure they will be back with an appeal. We will fight them to the bitter end. We have the energy, the intellect, the financial resources and we are well organised.

“They thought they were taking on a group of country yokels. They were very dismissive and very arrogant when they met us in February. They have picked on the wrong group. We are very very passionate about where we live.”

Source:  Staffordshire Newsletter | May 15, 2014 | www.staffordshirenewsletter.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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