A turbine dubbed the “Hatherleigh monster” has been dismissed on appeal with campaigners praising the decision.
Paul Griffiths, inspector appointed by the secretary of state, dismissed the developer’s appeal after raising concerns over the harmful impact the turbine at Heane Farm, would have on the area.
Since last year, opponents raised their concerns about the proposed 253ft (77m) mast, which when measured to the blade tip would have stood as tall as a 25-storey building.
The application was refused by West Devon Borough Council back in April 2014 and developer, Jeremy Dennis, appealed the decision.
In his report Mr Griffiths said a range of issues had been referred to him by local residents.
“In my view the main issues are the effect of the proposal on the character and appearance of the surrounding landscape, the setting and thereby the significance of designated heritage assets, and the living conditions of local residents through, in the main, visual impact,” he said.
Other concerns raised by opponents in the report included the harmful effect the “monster” would have on designated heritage buildings – including a Grade 1 listed building and the St John the Baptist church, which dates back to the 15th century.
Mr Griffiths discussed in depth the benefits the wind turbine would bring to the area.
He said: “The proposal would bring forward significant benefits in terms of the production of renewable energy and it would have economic advantages for the rural enterprise too.”
But he added the appeal must be dismissed as the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.
He said: “In balancing the advantages and disadvantages of the scheme, as I must, I am of the view that the harmful impacts identified, in particular to the living conditions of occupiers of North Cleave Farm and Pangkor House, far outweigh the benefits the proposal would bring forward.”
Penny Mills, of Campaign to Protect Rural England Devon, welcomed the decision.
She said: “This decision is great news and a great relief for the local community who have been campaigning against it for such a long time.
“It really was a monstrous proposal which would have loomed over beautiful Hatherleigh, over people living close by and the surrounding countryside.
“There was overwhelming local opposition to the wind turbine, the impact would have been unacceptable, and we are so glad that the inspector agrees.”
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