A decision to throw out plans for a giant wind turbine in the Shropshire countryside has been welcomed by people who feared it would have led to more fatal accidents on a nearby road.
Residents in the Ellesmere area feared the proposed 327ft (99.7m) turbine in Tetchill would have been a distraction for motorists travelling on the A495.
The road, which links Ellesmere and Oswestry, has witnessed several fatal accidents over the last few years.
Planning officers at Shropshire Council refused the application for the turbine, which had attracted about 200 objections.
They ruled it would have a severe impact on the surrounding area, outweighing any potential benefits. The plans were initially met with anger from local people who believed that it would create an eyesore in the town and a potential distraction for motorists.
Councillor Alan Clarke, mayor of Ellesmere, said: “I am greatly relieved.
“One of my biggest concerns right from the beginning was that there have been two or three deaths on the main road.
“If the turbine would have been built it would have been a distraction and added to the risk. For that reason alone I am very pleased the plans have been quashed.
“There would have been no benefits to the community in Ellesmere, only benefits to the people wishing to install it.”
John Paul Jeffels, who lives in Tetchill, said: “Obviously I am very happy.
“It is far too big for the location and being so close to Ellesmere.
“You would see it for miles and there would have been more distractions for motorists.”
The Highways Agency had also expressed concerns that the wind turbine could distract drivers who are driving down the A495.
But the planning agents, Intech Clean Energy, did not believe this would have been an issue, stating that the distance between any road and the turbine is further than the highways development control team requires.
Tim Rogers, planning officer at Shropshire Council, said the harm caused by the turbine would outweigh the benefits of harnessing renewable energy.
He said that the proposed turbine would have a “detrimental impact upon the character and quality of this countryside location” and that it would become a “detrimental defining characteristic of the area”.
The application was submitted in April on behalf of local farming family firm Seven Sisters and claimed the turbine could generate 1,400MWh of energy each year – enough to power 280 homes a year.
Some called the plans “ludicrous” and said that they would deter tourists from the area.
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