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Campaigners’ delight at wind farm victory

Greatworth residents have been celebrating a decision to go against recommendations for five wind turbines on the outskirts of the village.

Cheers could be heard as Eric Pickles, The Secretary of State for the Department of Communities and Local Government, overturned his planning inspector’s recommendation and refused permission for the 125m high wind turbines.

Although there could still be an appeal to the High Court, campaigners hope this is the end of a five-year battle to protect their rural community.

Keith Jones, chairman of the Helmdon, Stuchbury and Greatworth Wind Action Group said: “Obviously we are delighted, but there’s a huge amount of relief in there as well.

“It would have been five years in January since we had the first community meeting where we decided to fight this. It has been a long journey. We took it to South Northants Council and it supported us and refused permission. Then it went to a planning inspector and we came out on the wrong side of it. Then we had another look at it and decided that we could go forward and fight it in the High Court. We did get the result we wanted, only to have yet another inspector approve the proposals.

“Five years down the track and we now have the result that we think is the best for the area. We knew it was the wrong place to put turbines in the district.

“I’m just so glad the Secretary of State has made the right decision, he did say it was a fine balance, but he has chosen to say it is the community that comes first.”

Councillor Rebecca Breese, portfolio holder for planning and environment at SNC, added: “As ward representative for Greatworth I am so happy for the community that after a long and difficult argument the Secretary of State agrees that the harm to the local community outweighs any purported benefits of renewable energy of this type in this location. The residents worked tirelessly and together we presented a united and persuasive argument.”