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Banks Renewables will not appeal decision to reject £16million wind farm near Hamsterley Forest

Anti-wind turbine protestors are celebrating following the announcement that a renewable energy company will not be appealing a decision to reject a £16 million development in County Durham.

Banks Renewables had wanted to put up four 125-metre wind turbines at Windy Bank, between Hamsterley and Woodland in Teesdale, County Durham, but the scheme was rejected by a Durham County Council planning committee in May.

Members of Hamsterley and Upper Gaunless Action Group [HUGAG] have spent six months preparing to fight an expected appeal from Banks Renewables.

But the appeal window closed on November 6 and Lewis Stokes, development relations coordinator at Banks Renewables, confirmed the group was not taking the scheme forward at the present time

He said: “While we remain convinced that the Windy Bank wind farm is a well-designed scheme that is situated in an entirely appropriate location, the present Government’s disposition against onshore wind farms makes it extremely unlikely that we would be able to take this project forward and we have therefore decided not to appeal against the rejection of our planning application earlier this year.

“The Windy Bank site is wholly suitable for the type of development we were proposing, and it might well be that either Banks Renewables or another developer returns with a new planning application at some point in the future.”
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A HUGAG spokesman said: “We are absolutely convinced that the unwavering opposition to the proposal shown by our supporters was central to this outcome. For over seven years the overwhelming majority of local people have staunchly stood against what we all perceived as a totally inappropriate location for an industrial development of this nature.

“We are by no means feeling triumphalist – we are only hugely relieved that the right decision has been taken in favour of the countryside.”