A planning inspector has quashed a move to build a towering wind turbine ruling that it would be overly damaging to the city’s heritage.
Boringdon Park Golf Club in Plympton applied to install a 77-metre turbine in a bid to slash energy costs.
The Herald first revealed the plans in April 2014, noting how it would dwarf the 53m Civic Centre in height if given the go-ahead.
The plan was thrown out by South Hams District Council bosses last year but club owner Michael Davey appealed the decision.
But a government inspector upheld the rejection in a recent ruling, saying it would “harm” views of the historic Boringdon Arch for little public benefit.
The arch and the remains of an attached lodge are thought to have been built in 1783 for John Parker of Saltram House.
The 12m high red-brick arch, with some stone and stucco, is flanked by paired pilasters and was based on a design by Robert Adam.
While noting the benefits of creating renewable energy and assisting the golf club in reducing costs, inspector Neil Pope ruled that “these do not outweigh the harm that I have found to the setting of Boringdon Arch.”
He added: “Moreover, when the harm to other designated heritage assets, as well as the adverse impact upon the outlook of neighbouring residents is also considered, the planning balance tips decisively against an approval.”
Mr Pope said the turbine would “supplant” Boringdon Arch as the “focal point” along the ridge of the land, challenging the intentions of the architect.
The decision backed up the opinion of English Heritage – now known as Historic England – which said the turbine would cause “substantial harm” to the landscape and its listed features.
Mr Davey was unavailable for comment when contacted last night but previously said the move could save his business 80 per cent on its five-figure electricity bills, while also supplying energy to the national grid.
He said he did not see the turbine as a blot on the landscape, with the technology used meaning noise emitted would have been negligible.
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