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Appeal against council’s ban on wind-turbine dismissed

A council’s decision not to allow a wind-turbine to be erected on land at Billesdon will stand.

Harborough District Council was taken to appeal by Michael Browning because he claimed it should have made the decision on August 24 last year instead of October 9.

Inspector John Woolcock agreed that the council was correct to refuse permission for the turbine to be set up on land on Gaulby Road, associated with Church Farm, Billesdon.

The structure would have measured 30 metres to hub and 45 metres to blade tip and have had ancillary structure and an access track.

The inspector said: “The council failed to make a decision on the planning application in the required amount of time. “However, had it been able to do so, it would have refused the application because of significant harm to the character and appearance of the landscape and visual amenity of the locality, with the turbine visually dominating and overpowering its rural setting.”

He said building the turbine would have caused “substantial harm” to local heritage features notably the rural setting of Frisby Medieval Village, which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and the Grade II Listed Building St John the Baptist Church.

Historic England pointed out that the turbine would be visible from the vicinity of Frisby Medieval Village and that the introduction of the turbine as a large moving object in the landscape would cause some harm to the significance of the Scheduled Ancient Monument.

They considered that the turbine would be “a modern and utilitarian structure that would sit uncomfortably with the historic landscape.”

Mr Wooldock said: “From my site visit, it was apparent that the turbine would be an intrusive feature in local views, particularly from the nearby public right of way and the circular walk around the wildlife pool, and from local roads along ridges, including Gaulby Road, Harborough Road, Ashlands Road, and Leicester Road. The noticeable change to the existing view, and considerable change to the skyline, would overall result in a medium/high magnitude of change.”

“I conclude that the appeal should be dismissed and planning permission refused.”