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Delight as appeal over Maesbury wind turbine plans is thrown out

Campaigners are delighted after proposals for a wind turbine at Maesbury Quarry were thrown out by a Government planning inspector.

Fierce opposition had been given to the application regarding the 103-metre wind turbine by residents who live near the site.

Giving his ruling, planning inspector Paul Griffiths said: “A wide range of issues have been raised by local residents but, bearing in mind the council’s putative reason for refusal, it is my view that the appeal turns on whether any harmful impact on the setting, and thereby the significance, of Maesbury Castle, a scheduled ancient monument, as a result of the proposal, is outweighed by any benefits it would bring forward.”

And in his view, that was not the case.

Plans to put up the turbine at the quarry were turned down by Mendip District Council in August, leading to an appeal by site owner Guy Calder.

Mr Calder said: “We are very, very disappointed with the decision that has been made.

“The goal posts have been moved since we started the project three years ago.

“At the start climate change was an important issue for the government but now this has changed. Green energy is being rejected in favour of nuclear and fracking which is a huge shame.”

The appeal became the centre of media attention after Mr Griffiths, nicknamed “Inspector Blight” by The Sunday Times, was handed the case earlier on in the year.

When the inspector first visited the site on January 3 he had to abandon the visit because of gale force winds and torrential rain.

Following a number of applications for wind turbines on the Mendip Hills, which is an area of outstanding natural beauty, Action Against Turbines on the Mendip Hills (AATOM) was set up.

Keith Brown, from AATOM, said: “I am relieved that the appeal was not given approval, it is a huge relief for everyone who has been campaigning against wind turbines being put on the Mendips.”

As well as the Maesbury Quarry application, another application for a turbine not far away at Victoria Farm, near the Slab House Inn, has also been dismissed.

Jean Sanders-Crook, who lives 100 metres away from the proposed site at the quarry off the Old Frome Road, said: “We are over the moon – we have worked hard for 18 months against this application.”

However not everyone is pleased about the decision, on the Journal’s Facebook page Matt Norman commented: “Good work to the selfish residents, continue to pollute and destroy the world giving nothing back.

“I hope your future relatives are proud of your destructive decisions, would be interesting to see the average age of the people opposed to wind turbines.”