Campaigners in Devon are jubilant after plans for a giant wind turbine dubbed the “Hatherleigh monster” were rejected.
Opponents of the 253ft (77m) mast, which measured to the blade tip will stand as tall as a 25-storey building, feared it would dominate the tiny village and be seen for miles around.
The scheme, at Heane Farm, was refused planning permission by West Devon Borough Council but developers appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.
Yesterday, the inspector upheld the council decision and rejected the application.
It is the latest in a string of appeal dismissals since the Government issued a ministerial statement in June, strengthening the position of anti-wind campaigners.
At the latest count, ten decisions in a row across Devon and Cornwall had upheld the council decision to turn down applications.
Penny Mills, spokesman for the Campaign to Protect Rural England in Devon, said the tower, at Runnon Moor Lane, would have been the area’s “first industrial scale eyesore”.
“The decision is great news and a great relief for the local community who have been campaigning against it for such a long time,” she added.
“It really was a ‘monstrous’ proposal which would have loomed over beautiful Hatherleigh.”
The Cornish renewable energy developer behind the scheme, Mi-Grid, argued the 900kW device would allow a farmer whose family have worked the land for a century to diversify his operation and stay in business.
The turbine would have powered the equivalent of 525 local homes with carbon emission savings of 29,735 tonnes over the 25-year lifetime of the project, Mi-grid said.
Project manager Chloe Bines said the site was suitable as it is outside landscape designations such as areas of outstanding natural beauty and national parks.
But opponents of the plan dubbed it the ‘Hatherleigh monster’ and ran a camapaign during which they circulated a map showing how it will be seen for miles around.
John Ingram, who lives with wife Sally around 600m from the proposed site, delivered 1,000 leaflets showing the developer’s visibility map.
He added: “We are probably Nimbys but we just wanted people to realise how big it is – it would dwarf everything.”
In dismissing the application, Inspector Paul Griffiths said he was “mindful” of the way the written ministerial statement “stipulates” that such schemes must have local support.
He said it was “clear that the planning impacts of the proposal have not been satisfactorily addressed”, adding: “As a result, it cannot be deemed to have the backing of the local community.”
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