A councillor today praised planning officers for “finally” listening to the public after throwing out controversial plans for a wind turbine near Bridgnorth.
Shropshire Council has refused permission for the turbine at Criddon Hall Farm near Upton Cressett, Bridgnorth, 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.
Dave Tremellen, Shropshire councillor for Highley, who has been a vocal opponent against wind turbines near Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, said there had been passionate objections from local people against the plans.
He said: “Shropshire Council has done what the government wanted and in particular what happened to be one of former MP Eric Pickles’ last major speeches before he lost his seat, which was for powers to be handed back to local communities over such planning matters.
“As far as turbines go it got to the point where we were all despairing about what is took for the developers to realise the local community did not want them.
“When I pressed Sharenergy about its plans I was told if it did not get enough support locally it would go out to the rest of the county, then for national and finally look for international support.”
“I was told the reason behind that was climate change affected everybody but I could not see how it could still be deemed a local scheme.
“Another worry was the effect such a turbine would have on nearby Morville Hall and Upton Cressett.
“The area has hardly changed since the Elizabethan era and remains one of the few remaining unspoilt settings.
“We were also told by developers the plans would not attract further applications but at one point there were applications for five turbines all in a small area.”
The scheme at Criddon Hall Farm 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The original two turbine planning application had been recommended for refusal by county planners last summer but was withdrawn before they even got to be considered by Shropshire Council’s south planning committee.
Plans for a separate 250ft wind turbine on The Hills in The Down, near Bridgnorth, were also thrown out by planning inspectors in March following an appeal.
Jon Halle of Sharenergy and Sustainable Bridgnorth said the group was very disappointed by the Criddon Hall decision.
He said for more than five years the group had been working to bring genuinely low-carbon, locally-owned electricity generation to Shropshire and said the council had come up with an “incredibly short-sighted policy decision”.