RURAL residents have won their three-year battle to stop six massive wind turbines being installed near Church Eaton.
Wind Prospect has lost its appeal against South Staffordshire’s refusal to grant planning permission for the six 128m high turbines at New House Farm, near Brineton.
Jubilant campaigners received the Planning Inspectorate’s decision last week.
They feared the development would devastate the area and that a permanent new road the developers wanted to build to access the site would lead to further industrial development in what is currently open countryside.
They formed a battle group, King Street Stag (Stop Turbines Action Group), and have been fighting the proposal since summer 2009.
They raised a “fighting fund” to pay costs and members turned out in force at parish and district council planning meetings to put their objections forward.
In August 2011 they suffered a setbackwhen Wind Prospect won an appeal against South Staffordshire Council for permission to install a 70m high wind monitoring mast at the site.
But last week they were celebrating the decision of planning inspector Elizabeth Fieldhouse following a two week appeal hearing at Blymhill Village Hall in February.
In her appeal report she said: “The benefits of producing renewable energy and assisting in meeting national obligations, aspirations and helping to reduce the impact of climate change have to be set against the identified harm.
“Conditions can address certain impacts but the adverse effects cannot all be overcome or significantly ameliorated by way of conditions.
In totality the harm to the landscape, the setting of Weston Park, the amenities of the occupiers of two residential properties and the conflict with the identified development plan policies from the proposal amounts to a very substantial objection.
“Overall, the benefits of the project are outweighed by the totality of the harm and the balance falls firmly against the grant of planning permission.”
Tony Lendon, chairman of King Street Stag, said: “This is tremendous news and quite incredible that a small group of residents can not only stand up to but also beat such heavyweight opposition.”
Wind Prospect’s development manager Jonny Murphy said he was disappointed: “Refusing projects like this means we will continue to burn increasingly expensive fossil fuels and rely on energy imports