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Wind turbine plan rejected

Giant wind turbines that would have dramatically altered the skyline south of Newark have been refused planning permission by a Government minister.

The Fox Covert wind farm, consisting of four 130-metre turbines and an 80m anemometry mast to measure wind speed, was rejected by the Planning Inspectorate after an appeal by developers Wind Prospect Ltd.

The turbines, which would have been built off Cotham Road, Hawton, would have been about 30m taller than the Big Ben tower and twice the height of Newark Parish Church.

Wind Prospect Ltd had said the ten megawatt development would have generated electricity to power up to 5,400 households.

In his report, communities and local government secretary Mr Greg Clark said the turbines would have harmed the landscape, the view from neighbouring properties and the significance of St Michael’s Church, Cotham, which is said to be one of the finest examples of a Medieval church in the country.

He said the turbines would appear as prominent man-made features on the landscape.

Mr Clark said he recognised the benefit of constructing turbines to provide clean, renewable energy but concluded the negative impacts outweighed the benefits.

He disagreed with the recommendation of the Government’s independent planning inspector, which was to allow the appeal.

Bolsterstone Innovative Energy (Hawton) already has permission, which was gained on appeal, for three 126.5-metre turbines on the other side of the road.

‘Sense of relief’

Hawton Parish Council chairman Mr Ken Sutton said: “We are pleased that the voice of the 11 local villages that objected to the turbines has been heard.

“There is a sense of relief that the erection of the wind turbines will not go ahead.”

Newark and Sherwood District Council initially refused permission for the wind farm because of the impact on nearby heritage assets and the cumulative impact of the approved turbines.

The MP for Newark, Mr Robert Jenrick, said: “I was relieved this application was rejected as it would have had a detrimental effect on the landscape and views around Newark, including the way we see some much-loved local churches.

“I am grateful for the hard work of residents who took action to preserve the countryside.

“Now that the Conservative government has changed the subsidies available we should see a dramatic fall in the number of wind turbine applications.”

Mr Richard Barker, director of Wind Prospect, said: “We are disappointed by this decision, after the Government’s own independent planning inspector concluded that the site is suitable.

“We will review the decision and consider our options.”