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Countryside campaigners ‘delighted’ as Bideford wind turbine appeal is dismissed

Countryside campaigners are “delighted” after an appeal for a large wind turbine near Bideford has been dismissed by the planning inspectorate.

The application for a 67-metre hilltop turbine, at Eastleigh Barton, which would have powered approximately 386 homes, was refused in October 2014.

The appeal was made by Murex Energy Limited against the decision of North Devon District Council.

Paul Griffiths, (corr) the planning inspectorate who refused the appeal, said the main issues he had to consider were the effect of the proposal on the character and appearance on the landscape, the nearby designated heritage assets and the potential visual impact on local residents.

He added in his report: “That analysis needs to be carried out in the context of any benefits the proposal would bring forward.”

There is a significant number of designated heritage assets within a 2km radius of the proposed location, these include Eastleigh Barton, a Grade II* listed building and Eastleigh Manor House, a Grade II* listed building.

Mr Griffiths said the listed building “would be harmed” if the appeal was granted.

In conclusion of his report, Mr Griffiths did say the proposal would bring forward benefits by “generating electricity from a renewable source” but added the proposal would have a “significant adverse impact” on the receiving landscape, “harmfully impinging on the setting”.

“It would have a negative effect on the living conditions of local residents that would, in one case at least, be significant,” he added.

” In my judgement, while I recognise that the harmful impacts of the proposal would be temporary and reversible, they are of such magnitude that the benefits the scheme would bring forward are insufficient to justify them.”

Countryside campaigners, CPRE Devon, said they were delighted with the news.

Penny Mills from CPRE Devon, who had objected to the proposal, said they were very pleased that the inspector had dismissed the appeal.

“This proposal for a large commercial wind turbine at this site had been in the pipeline for some time,” she said.

“There had been strong opposition to it right from the start from local residents, so I know that they will be very relieved that this will not be going ahead.”

The Journal has contacted Murex Energy Limited for a comment.