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Councillors vote against turbines project next to Wenlock Edge

Councillors have voted against plans to build two wind turbines on land next to Wenlock Edge.

Much Wenlock Town Council said the proposals went against local planning policy.

The 10 kilowatt turbines, which would be 16 metres high, have been earmarked for Lea Quarry, near Much Wenlock.

Officials at Edge Renewables Ltd want to use one turbine to produce electricity to power a plant, machinery and buildings involved in the production of biomass fuel.

The second would be used to train staff how to install a turbine, so they can then supply them to other customers. It would only be used on a temporary basis and would be dismantled during the training process.

Town clerk Sharon Clayton said: “The town council has objected to the proposals because the Neighbourhood Plan does not support wind turbines.

“The wind turbines would be located in an Area Natural Outstanding Beauty and close to a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

“The proposals are contrary to policies in Shropshire Council’s Core Strategy.

“However, the council has supported all previous plans of Edge Renewables.”

Edge Renewables was granted a permit to use the site to produce biomass fuel last year, despite rival plans from the National Trust to turn the area into a wildlife reserve.

The company uses the quarry to store wood, which is dried and chipped to produce biomass wood chip fuel, which is then supplied to its customers.

Simon Lloyd-Jones, managing director of Edge Renewables Ltd, said: “These are certainly not outrageously sized turbines and we’re confident just one person would be able to see them from their window.

“We already use biomass and solar power but we hope this will help generate more power overnight.

“The training side of it is also very important and would be another significant bow in our hat.”

Former landowners Aggregate Industries agreed to the sell the site to Edge Renewables last year.

Edge Renewables, which will use 10 per cent of the quarry for its wood chipping operation, agreed at the time to spend £25,000 a year to restore other parts of the site.

Work to turn part of the former quarry into a natural habitat for wildlife started in October last year.

The firm removed the redundant quarry buildings and started landscaping work to reshape the area for insects and amphibians.

Mr Lloyd-Jones said: “The rest of the plans will be going ahead as usual and we’ve just got outline planning permission to build a visitor centre.

“Some 85 per cent of the remaining quarry will grow back through natural regeneration,” he added.