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The refusal of an application to build wind turbines near some of Braunton’s most historical buildings has been welcomed by the area’s residents.
Plans for two 40-metre turbines had been submitted for farmland at Winsham Down, a rural area north of Braunton with a scattering of homes and historical sites nearby.
The turbines would have had a detrimental impact on the historical buildings near the site, according to North Devon Council planning department.
In a summary of its reasons for refusal, the authority highlighted the site’s close proximity to Beer Mill, a grade II listed building.
The summary said: “The nature of wind turbines is such that they do not blend easily into rural landscapes such as that which forms the setting of this listed building and in this case the turbines will not preserve the setting of this listed building.”
Several churches and the manor of Ash Barton and Buckland Manor would also have been affected by the turbines, according to the council, which said they would have had a “detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the landscape”.
Paula Kingdon, who lives around 1,000 metres from the site, is delighted with the refusal.
She said the turbines would be “incredibly unsightly and destroy the beauty of the area”, adding that the birds of prey she regularly sees soaring over the farmland could “get mashed” by the turbines’ propellers.
“We’re hugely relieved,” she said.
“It’s fantastic news. The application was rejected because of the historical buildings and rightly so.
“Developers are waging a war of attrition because they keep submitting variations of the same application, and people get worn down because they keep having to object.”
Councillor Jasmine Chesters is also pleased with the decision.
“We already have an abundance of turbines in the area,” she said.
“I have supported turbines on farmers’ land in the past when they were to help the business but this was to feed into the system and make money.”
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