Opponents of a massive wind farm in Cornwall are steeling themselves for a further campaign if developers take their proposals to appeal.
Cornwall councillors threw out the application for 11 turbines – each 410ft (125m) high – on farmland at Week St Mary amid concerns over their impact on the landscape and historic buildings.
The plan by firm Good Energy for land at and adjoining Creddacott Farm also included a substation, underground cabling, access tracks, crane pads and highways works.
A planning officer’s report to the committee acknowledged that the farm would bring benefits in terms of the generation of renewable energy.
But the report said these could not counteract the “considerable adverse effect on the character and appearance of the surrounding countryside” and recommended it be turned down by the committee.
On Thursday, members of the council’s strategic planning committee agreed, voting 14 to 6, with one abstention, to reject the application.
And while campaigners said they were relieved by the result, they fear the application will ultimately be decided on appeal.
“We are delighted but wary,” Pauline Smeeth, who lives less than half-a-mile from the site, said yesterday. “We always believed that this would be decided on appeal. We now have an awful lot of fundraising to do to get the money together so people can work on our behalf.
“I’m ready for another fight but I do worry that a team will come down from upcountry, who don’t know what the local issues are, and make a decision about our lives.”
The application spawned campaign group CARE (Communities Against Rural Exploitation) and attracted opposition from local parish councils. English Heritage also raised concerns about the proximity to historic sites.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England also objected citing the visual impact of the huge turbines on the surrounding landscape, which includes three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Good Energy, which spent £11.8 million upgrading Britain’s first commercial wind farm at Delabole, estimated the Week St Mary scheme would have a capacity of about 25MW and generate enough power for some 13,500 homes.
A spokesman for the company said: “Naturally we’re disappointed with the committee’s decision and will now take time to reflect upon the reasons behind it.
“We maintain that this was a strong application and a suitable site for a wind farm.”
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