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Turbine appeal fails

A proposal for a large wind turbine near East Allington has been dismissed after a lengthy appeal process.
The proposal generated opposition from the local community and the Campaign for Rural England.
The initial application, submitted in August 2012, was for two turbines at Higher Torr Farm, but this was withdrawn that October. A second application was submitted in February 2013 for a turbine up to 78 metres tall and capable of producing 0.9MW of electricity. All of the electricity produced would have been sold to the National Grid.
South Hams Council refused this proposal in January 2014 and an appeal was submitted, only to be dismissed by the planning inspector earlier this month.
Higher Torr Farm tenant Richard Baker said: ‘We were approached by Clear Winds, as our farmland was seen as an ideal location for wind turbines due to its altitude and because the farm bordered an industrial estate. Clear Winds managed the application and appeals process.
‘It appealed to us as the electricity produced would have been clean, helping to reduce the UK’s dependence on fossil fuels.
‘The turbine would have taken up a relatively small amount of space and we would have been able to continue grazing sheep in the field.
‘Initially, when we started the process, I thought there was a chance that the application would have been approved, but as opposition from the local community grew it became clear that the application wouldn’t be granted.’
Penny Mills from the Campaign for Rural England said: ‘We welcome the fact that the Government is now aware of the devastating effects that wind turbines are having on our countryside and on the people who live and work within it.
‘We also welcome the fact that the Government is now saying that only wind turbine applications that have the support of the local community will be approved.
‘This proposal in the beautiful South Hams countryside has been like a dark cloud hanging over the area for a very long time.
‘It’s two years since an application was first submitted, so this decision is a great relief.’
The planning inspector concluded that ‘the detrimental visual impact the turbine would have on the ­character and appearance of the ­surrounding area outweighs any small benefits’.