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‘Monster’ turbine defeated by planners after protest

A wind turbine dubbed the “Hatherleigh monster” after it looked set to dwarf its rural surroundings has been turned down by planners.

West Devon Borough Council refused permission for the 253ft (77m) mast, which measured to the blade tip would have stood as tall as a 25-storey building.

The 900kw scheme had been proposed by Cornish renewable energy developer Mi-Grid, who said the device would have allowed a farmer whose family have worked the land for a century to diversify and stay in business.

Jeremy Dennis, the landowner at the Heane Farm site spoke in support of the application, explaining how the renewable energy proposal was needed.

Geoffrey Cleverdon, who has lived in Hatherleigh all his life, spoke against the application on behalf of local residents, explaining how people did not want the countryside ruined by an “industrial development”.

The planning committee members voted to refuse the application, in line with the planning officer’s recommendation.

Penny Mills, chairman of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) in Devon, who attended the meeting and protest outside the council offices in Tavistock, expressed delight.

“We are very pleased that committee members today unanimously voted to refuse this application and thereby are supporting the vast majority of local people,” she added.

“The planning officer reported that there had been 159 letters of objection and only 16 in support.

“The impact on the landscape, on Hatherleigh’s ancient heritage and on people’s homes would have been totally unacceptable.

“We will have to wait and see now whether the developer will lodge an appeal.

“There are currently 32 other wind turbine applications in appeal and 57 pending a decision across the region. But so many have already been permitted, that we are all now living in a giant wind farm in this part of Devon, that nobody asked for and only a handful of people benefit from.”

Mi-Grid has not said whether it intends to appeal.