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Government inspector rejects Cowling wind turbine plan

A wind turbine planned for Sandyforth Farm, Cowling, would be visible on the skyline and for walkers and horse riders on the Pennine Bridleway and Pennine Way, a government inspector has concluded.

Backing Craven District Council’s refusal of the single 50kw turbine, the inspector dismissed the appeal because of its ‘significant’ landscape and visual effects.

Both ‘singularly and cumulatively’, the turbine would result in ‘considerable harm to the character and appearance of the surrounding countryside’, said the inspector in the decision notice.

While accepting the turbine would produce renewable energy and help the farming business at Sandyforth Farm, reducing running costs and developing strong green credentials for the marketing of the farm product, it would not outweigh the damage to the landscape.

“I find that the proposed development would be unsustainable because of the environmental harm to the countryside would clearly outweigh the wider, environmental, economic and social benefits associated with the scheme.”

The inspector noted the recent ministerial statement on proposed wind energy development to take into account local opinion, but added it had not altered the decision.