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Wind turbine plan loses on appeal

A wind turbine proposal which drew objections over fears it could ruin the countryside that inspired Michael Morpurgo’s best selling novel War Horse has been rejected by the Planning Inspectorate. The plans were originally rejected by West Devon Borough Council last October, though the applicant appealed the decision to refuse plans for the 44.5 metre turbine at Coombe Farm, Iddesleigh. In her decision, inspector Janice Trask said: ‘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. ‘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. The unacceptable adverse effects are not outweighed by the local and wider benefits’. Mr Morpurgo and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England were amongst the turbine’s strongest objectors. Penny Mills, chair of CPRE Devon said the organisation was delighted with the decision. She said: ‘Iddesleigh and the surrounding area is a particularly beautiful and tranquil unspoilt part of Devon. This 150ft noisy, rotating machine would have been totally unacceptable in this location, which is why we objected to the proposal. ‘The benefit in terms of electricity generated and emission savings would have been insignificant from this proposal and this insignificant benefit does not outweigh the harm in terms of adverse impact on the local amenity. ‘However, there are still 35 other wind turbine applications in appeal in North West Devon and 19 currently in planning in West Devon and Torridge alone, pending a decision, including in this area around the ‘War Horse Valley’. ‘The area continues to be bombarded with these proposals, so this beautiful part of Devon is still under enormous threat. ‘And we don’t need any more. The Prime Minister’s office has stated that we already have enough on shore wind to meet our renewable obligations – so we don’t need any more.’

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