Plans for a wind turbine near an ancient burial mound have been thrown out by national park planners.
The proposal for a 112ft turbine near Minninglow Hill were turned down by Peak District authority members because of its proximity to the chambered cairn and because it would be visible from miles around.
The turbine would have been built on a dairy farm at Aldwark, near Matlock.
A Peak District National Park Authority spokesperson said: “Minning Low is a well-known skyline feature easily recognised by the ring of perimeter trees and taller trees at its centre that make it appear crown-like on the horizon, visible for many miles.
“Minning Low dates back over 5,000 years and is a great chambered round cairn – a rare type of burial mound found in only a few areas of England and is the biggest and most prominent of its kind in the Peak District.
“The authority supports the need for renewable energy but has to balance this with the harmful impact that installing a wind turbine could have on the national park’s natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage.
“The authority considers every application for a wind turbine on its own merits and the planning committee members decided in this case that, despite having sympathy for the farmer’s wishes, the environmental and economic benefits to the farm were outweighed by the harm that would be done to the special qualities of the national park.”
Minning Low is a scheduled ancient monument and stands close to the High Peak Trail and the Pennine Bridleway national trail.
Councillor Paul Ancell, chair of the authority’s planning committee said: “We support the need for renewable energy but our primary purpose is to protect the national park landscape from harm.
“In this case we have refused the development for two main reasons. Firstly, a wind turbine on the skyline would be seen for miles over a wider area and have a significant detrimental impact on the scenic beauty of the national park’s limestone plateau landscape.
“Secondly, the prominent siting, size and scale of the development – the height to the tip of the turbine would be 34.2 metres – would greatly detract from people’s enjoyment and appreciation of the setting of cultural heritage features including Minning Low itself.”
Friends of the Peak District and the National Trust supported the authority’s decision.
A similar proposal at Newhaven was turned down in September 2013 because of the significant impact it would have had on the important cultural heritage landscape setting of Arbor Low henge and ancient burial mounds, also a scheduled ancient monument.
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