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Campaigners win fight to stop wind turbine being built in Cotwalton  

Credit:  The Sentinel | May 15, 2014 | www.stokesentinel.co.uk ~~

Villagers have won their battle to stop a wind turbine as tall as five double decker buses being built near their homes.

They said they were ready to fight any appeal to the bitter end after Leicestershire-based Hallmark Power applied to build the 242-feet-high turbine on land near Cotwalton Drumble Woods, close to Stone.

The company said the three-blade turbine off Cotwalton Road 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.

But members of Stafford Borough Council’s planning committee have thrown out the scheme.

Campaigners have now welcomed the decision but fear an appeal could be lodged.

Villager 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 passionate about where we live.”

Officers had recommended refusal amid concerns the proposal would have a damaging impact on the Moddershall Valley Conservation Area.

Objector Brian Scott, who lives in Cotwalton, told the meeting: “This application would have a negative visual impact and the claimed benefit would 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.”

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 added: “To put a 242-feet-high wind turbine in such a sensitive and beautiful area is totally unacceptable.

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.

Source:  The Sentinel | May 15, 2014 | www.stokesentinel.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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