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Joy for campaigners as plans to erect wind turbines at Red Hill Farm in Stretham are refused

Campaigners are jubilant after contentious plans to erect wind turbines on land near Ely were rejected.

Members of East Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning committee have unanimously refused the proposals to site two turbines at Red Hill Farm on Cambridge Road, Stretham.

Local farmer Chris Attle, who was not present at the planning meeting yesterday (Wednesday), submitted his plans last autumn and was proposing to offer five per cent of the turbines’ annual income to Stretham Parish Council.

However, the turbines – which would have been 102m high – proved contentious and last October residents formed the Stop Stretham Wind Farm Group (SSWFG).

The group says that almost 400 people objected to the scheme.

Richard Nuttall, chairman of the SSWFG, said: “We are delighted and have worked hard to raise awareness of the proposed wind turbines and the effect they would have had on the local community.

“The planning officer gave an excellent presentation to complement the formal written recommendation and the reasons for refusal were all adopted by the committee.

“I would like to thank the SSWFG committee, who were at the meeting and councillors Cheetham, Hugo and Hunt who spoke with me in opposition to the application.

“The community did not want these turbines, had not been properly consulted and their concerns were ignored.”

Planning officer Julie Barrow was recommended that the plans were refused and her reasons fell under a number of categories including “landscape and visual amenity”, “cultural heritage” and “aviation”.

Her report said the turbines would have had an “urbanising effect”, that they would “significantly change the character of the area” and that they would have served as “discordant and distracting” elements on the skyline when viewed from the West Tower of Ely Cathedral.

South East Cambridgeshire MP Lucy Frazer said: “This is great news for local residents.

“Many people raised a number of valid concerns with me about the suitability of the area for wind turbines and I wrote to the council to ensure that their views were heard.

“It is critical that local people have a say in whether wind turbines should be erected in their village.

“I am pleased to see that the views of local people were taken into account.”