Planning inspector upholds decision by council to refuse turbine due to its impact on the landscape.
A DECISION by Torridge District Council to refuse an application for a 45m turbine in Huntshaw has been upheld at appeal.
In August, the application for the 50kw turbine at Knockworthy Farm was refused by the council due to the adverse visual impact on the surrounding landscape.
An appeal was lodged by the applicant in October on the grounds the turbine’s impact on the surrounding countryside was ‘acceptable’ and that any harm in this respect would be outweighed by the benefits of the turbine.
But planning inspector Wendy Burden upheld Torridge’s refusal on the turbine, and concluded the vicinity of the appeal site retained its tranquillity despite the nearby turbines already installed.
She said: “I therefore consider that the wind turbine would cause significant harm to the remote and tranquil quality of this landscape, and that it would appear as an intrusive and harmful feature on the skyline.”
The appeal decision stated the turbine was so high it would rise above the trees and hedges enclosing the field it would be sited and be exposed to ‘long views across the landscape.’
This is the second appeal to uphold the decision of Torridge to refuse a turbine.
Barry Parsons, leader of the council, said: “We take the planning assessment of every wind turbine application very seriously.
“Where we believe that the proposal is damaging to our beautiful landscape or will badly affect the lives of local residents, we refuse planning permission.
“We know that means that the matter will be taken out of our hands and determined by the planning inspectorate.
“We also know that the council may incur costs defending its decision, but we believe, and have always believed, that we should do this on behalf of our affected communities.”
Penny Mills, chairman of the Torridge Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) group, said she hoped developers and local planning authorities would take note of the inspector’s comments.
“These would clearly apply to many other locations in our beautiful part of Devon; places where the introduction of a wind turbine would have an adverse impact on the landscape,” she said.
“This part of Devon continues to be bombarded with proposals for large wind and solar schemes.
“In the last two weeks alone, a dozen more have been submitted which, if all approved, will have a dramatic impact on our already changing landscape here.”