Campaigners have won a three-year battle to stop a 112ft wind turbine being erected next to a quiet Devon creek.
The secretary of state has refused plans for a single turbine to be installed at Winslade Farm, which overlooks Frogmore Creek, near Kingsbirdge.
Friends of South Hams was formed by local residents who contested the application and feared the turbine would spoil the creek, which sits within an Area of Outstanding natural Beauty (ANOB).
After the application was approved by South Hams District Council, the group raised £80,000 for legal representation to challenge the decision at judicial review.
Planning permission was initially granted by South Hams councillors in May 2014, against the recommendation of the planning officer, but was later quashed after it emerged that English Heritage had not been notified about the plans.
The application was re-considered in December 2014, when the council resolved, again contrary to officer’s recommendation, to approve the application, subject to conditions to control noise emissions, turbine colour and the temporary nature of the permission.
Following a public inquiry, heard in September last year, the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, MP, has overruled the decision on the grounds the proposed turbine would cause harm to the AONB.
A spokesperson for Friends of the South Hams said: “It’s been a long haul and extremely hard work. It’s very difficult for ordinary people like us to find the money for all the legal work.
“We had to raise about £80,000 and it’s not refundable.
“Of course we’re very happy that the statutory requirement on South Hams District Council to enhance and protect the AONB will now be carried out.
“We find it both sad and reassuring that the points made and balances drawn by the Friends of South Hams three years ago have been mirrored by the Secretary of State in his conclusion.
“Democracy works, it seems; it’s every now and again it needs a good hard shove.”
The report outlining the secretary of state’s decision, which was published on Friday, said: “The Secretary of State concludes that the public benefits of the proposal, although modest, carry moderate weight overall.
“However, these benefits would be outweighed by the great weight to be given to the harm to the AONB and the setting of a number of heritage assets, but predominantly Molescombe House and the Bowl Barrow Scheduled Ancient Monument.”
It added: “He considers that granting permission for 25 years would be a significant amount of time and gives limited weight to the temporary nature of the proposal.”
The applicant can apply to the High Court if they wish to challenge the decision.
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