A wind turbine has been dismantled after a planning inspector dismissed an enforcement appeal.
In February 2014 planning permission was refused for a 5kW wind turbine at Lask Edge Farm, Lask Edge, near Leek.
However, the decision was successfully appealed against and the wind turbine was erected.
But the appeal decision was challenged on several grounds. The Secretary of State conceded on the ground that the Inspector failed to give adequate reasons for a conclusion that harm to the Green Belt was outweighed by other considerations so as to justify the scheme.
The appeal was then redetermined and dismissed by a decision dated January 27.
An enforcement notice was then issued by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council which required the owners to dismantle, take down and completely remove the turbine from the land
However, a further appeal was then lodged by Robert and Hazel Scott against the enforcement notice. Now a planning inspector has dismissed this appeal.
Planning inspector, Andrew Hammond said the appellants confirmed that what they were seeking was permission for the turbine on a reduced height mast, such that the impact on the landscape and the openness of the Green Belt would be reduced, thus affecting the Green Belt ‘balance’.
In his decision report, Mr Hammond said: “One of the five purposes of including land in the Green Belt is to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment. While the footprint of the turbine is small and the degree of encroachment limited, the turbine is a conspicuous engineered structure in an otherwise open field, particularly with its rotating blades.
“This results in the encroachment into the countryside appearing greater than would be the case with a static structure.
“Therefore, the turbine conflicts, albeit to a minor degree, with one of the key purposes of including land in the Green Belt.
“The benefits of the scheme in respect of the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and the maximisation of renewable energy means of meeting the total demands of Lask Edge Farm carry significant weight.
“Nevertheless the harm by virtue of inappropriate development is substantial, added to which is the limited Green Belt harm in respect of loss of openness and harm relating to one of the key purposes of including land in the Green Belt.
“To this harm must be added the identified harm to the character of the landscape in conflict with development plan policy.
” I conclude that the benefits of the scheme, considered in their totality, do not clearly outweigh the harm to the Green Belt, and other harm, so as to justify the scheme, whether as existing or reduced in height by some three metres, on the basis of ‘very special circumstances’.”
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