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Planners throw out wind turbine scheme near Bridgnorth

Controversial plans for a wind turbine near Bridgnorth have been thrown out by council planners before even getting the chance to be debated in public.

Shropshire Council has refused permission for the turbine on The Hills in The Down, following five years of wrangling.

Sharenergy, the group behind the scheme, first submitted an application for two 250-foot turbines but eventually reduced that to one last year.

The scheme had been developed with Sustainable Bridgnorth, a voluntary environmental organisation, which said the turbine would be owned and operated by a not-for-profit community benefit society made up of local people.

The original two turbine planning application had been recommended for refusal by county planners last summer but was withdrawn before they even got to be considered by Shropshire Council’s south planning committee.

Campaigners have celebrated the latest council decision and fierce objector William Cash, who claimed the turbine would have been a blot on the landscape, will be hosting a party to celebrate at his Upton Cressett Hall home on Friday.

Mr Cash, who helped set up Stop Bridgnorth Wind Farm group, said: “We’d like to thank everyone who helped us, especially to Tim and Kathy Morris who led a dogged rearguard action from their Underton battle headquarters on the Criddon Hall turbine.

“Their valour was comparable to the Shropshire regiment at the battle of Talavera in 1809.

“That was to see off the French and hopefully our community efforts have dealt a similar blow to the advance into the Shropshire Hills of EU renewable energy dictats and levies.”

Jon Halle of Sharenergy and Sustainable Bridgnorth said the group was very disappointed by the decision.

He said: “For more than five years we have been working to bring genuinely low-carbon, locally-owned electricity generation to Shropshire.

“We believe both these objectives remain absolutely crucial to our energy future and will continue to work towards them.

“We’re examining the planning decision but it appears the policies brought in by the new Government make not only this but most onshore wind turbines in England unviable.

“This is an incredibly short-sighted policy decision. Climate change is real and wind turbines are one of the lowest-cost options for the clean energy of the future.

“We will continue to work to make community-owned energy a reality in Shropshire, the Marches and beyond.”