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War Horse valley wind turbine rejected

Proposals for a wind turbine which objectors feared could ruin the countryside setting of the First World War bestseller War Horse have been thrown out by the Planning Inspectorate.

Author Michael Morpurgo was among dozens to object to the 145ft (44.5m) turbine which had been planned at Coombe Farm, at Iddesleigh in West Devon.

Campaigners argued the turbine would damage the village made famous by the novel which has gone on to become a hit stage play and a Hollywood film. They also feared the development would tower over the famous Tarka Trail.

West Devon Borough Council rejected the planning application for the turbine in October last year. The Planning Inspectorate yesterday dismissed the appeal.

“I have concluded there would be harm to the character and appearance of the local landscape and that this warrants significant weight, also that the harm to the historic landscape would be moderate,” Inspector Janice Trask said in her decision.

“There would be conflict with the development plan in respect of these matters. I have found the harm to the setting of the Grade I listed building to be less than substantial and to the setting of Grade II listed buildings to be moderate.

“Nevertheless, I am required to give considerable importance and weight to the desirability of preserving the setting of listed buildings.

“There remains a strong presumption against granting planning permission where there would be any harm to the setting of a listed building.

“The proposal would provide a valuable contribution to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and this warrants great weight. However, this would not outweigh the significant harm I have identified.”