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People power blows away bid for Sturton wind farm scheme

Sturton-le-Steeple villagers are celebrating after the wind was taken out of the sails of plans for a towering turbine farm.

EDF Energy Renewables has abandoned plans for its Maumhill project, to the delight of residents nearby.

It made the move after the Government announced onshore wind farms will be left out of a subsidy scheme.

Villagers have fought the proposals for nine huge turbines for more than five years.

Dave Langmead, clerk to Sturton-le-Steeple Parish Council, said the rural location already “does its bit” for energy production.

“On behalf of the Association of Trentside Parish Councils and Wheatley Energy Forum, it is a huge relief,” he said.

“We’ve got to thank all the people who have put in so much work to ensure this didn’t go ahead.

“This area produces around 10 per cent of the country’s energy with two power stations.

“Coupled with a 7.5 million tonne sand and gravel quarry about to come on line, I think we’re doing our bit!

“It’s not nimbyism – our backyard is already full.”

Despite the news being celebrated, campaigners are not resting on their laurels.

“You can never relax with these things,” said Mr Langmead.

“Even though it was the reduction of a subsidy scheme that was the death knell for this site, without the community getting together and fighting it, it could have gone through sooner.”

EDF Energy Renewables explained its decision.

“After reviewing the scheme in the light of recent government announcements on onshore wind, the company has informed Bassetlaw District Council that it does not intend to develop its plans for the project any further,” a spokesman said.

“EDF Energy Renewables’ original application for a nine turbine wind farm on the Maumhill site was refused by the council’s planning committee in February 2013.

“A subsequent appeal by the company against this decision had to be withdrawn when the Planning Inspectorate refused to consider a number of proposed changes to the scheme, prompting work to be undertaken on an intended new planning application for a reduced number of turbines on the site.

“Proposals for a revised seven turbine development were publicised last year at a series of local public exhibitions, but those plans will now not be taken any further.”