Walkers will be banned from a footpath through a Shropshire beauty spot after wind turbine protesters pushed their cause too far, developers have said.
Energy firm Edge Renewables has said it will stop people from using a footpath over Wenlock Edge, which forms part of the Shropshire Way.
Company chiefs say they have been left with no option after accusing campaigners fighting plans for a training turbine in the area of using aggressive tactics to halt the project.
Earlier this week a group of people waving placards took to the site in protest at the plans.
Objectors have called the move a “spoilt-brat-style reaction” and “barefaced blackmail” that will upset countless walkers.
The Much Wenlock–based firm’s application for a 52 foot (16 metre) wind turbine at Lea Quarry, on Wenlock Edge – to be assembled and disassembled for training purposes – will go before Shropshire Council’s south planning committee on Tuesday. Simon Lloyd-Jones, co-director of Edge Renewables, said campaigners kept using the impact on the view from the footpath – which is open to the public by permission only – as a reason to object.
Speaking to the Shropshire Star, Mr Lloyd-Jones said: “We didn’t really want to do it but the campaign against turbines is an aggressive one and they just pushed it too far. We had made it very clear that it was a permissive footpath and should not be used as an excuse against the application. If we close that off, it takes it out of the equation.”
Landowner William Cash, who lives at Upton Cressett Hall near Bridgnorth and is one of those objecting, said: “They might technically own a small part of Wenlock Edge, but the landscape belongs to the Shropshire community.
“I think it is a selfish, petulant, spoilt-brat-style reaction which is indicative of the self-interested nature of this application.”
The plans will be discussed at Shrewsbury’s Shirehall at 2pm on Tuesday.
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