Plans to build a small-scale windfarm near Dolton have been thrown out by the planning inspectorate.

Applicant Simon Paine had lodged an appeal after his application for a wind energy development at Eastlake Farm was rejected by Torridge District Council in April 2019.

The council said the application for the 9.8kw, 19-metre-tall turbine was not a 'community-led' initiative, with no form of public consultation taking place, and did not comply with the North Devon and Torridge Local Plan, which despite not earmarking any sites for wind energy development, sets out instructions for such applications.

The appeal from Mr Paine said the development would make the farm and its properties carbon neutral, and added no areas were deemed suitable for wind energy in the local plan.

But the planning application and appeal were deemed invalid by Philip James of the planning inspectorate.

In a letter to Mr Paine, he said: "In the opinion of the Inspector, a discussion with two neighbours in a pub is inadequate and falls considerably short of meeting the provisions of the GDPO/compliance with section 61W(1) of the 1990 Act.

"It would also appear that the application was not accompanied by any particulars of the pre-application consultation, responses received and account taken of them.

"In the circumstances, it is our view that the required consultation process was not carried and that any amendment to the proposal at this stage would not change this.

"In the circumstances we have no alternative other than to turn the appeal away."

The decision was welcomed by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Devon.

A statement said: "We are delighted that this wind turbine application will not proceed.

"Many members of CPRE Devon objected to the application and the charity assisted in the writing of an appeal statement.

"The main reason for objection was that the application fell foul of the Joint North Devon and Torridge Local Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)."