Campaigners who have fought for six years against plans to build a 46-metre tall wind turbine near Melton are facing defeat after the structure was approved by the Secretary of State.
Melton Council refused planning permission on the grounds that it would spoil the landscape when the scheme, proposed on land at Thorpe Satchville, was originally submitted in 2012.
A series of appeals and High Court hearings followed before Communities secretary Sajid Javid finally gave it the go ahead this week after two of his predecessors had blocked it in the past after calling the application in for their personal consideration.
Explaining his decision in a report he referred to the council’s emerging Local Plan, from October last year and which is currently the subject of a public examination, which stated that the appeal site was ‘an area of low or low to moderate sensitivity to wind turbine development and turbines of up to 50 metres in height would be acceptable’.
The report continues: “The public benefits of the turbine comprise the environmental advantages of the generation of renewable energy and the contribution to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
“The Secretary of State also agrees that it would help diversify farm business, protect employment, provide a sounder financial footing and reduce energy costs.”
The outcome is a bitter blow for villagers who have campaigned through the action group, Thorpe Say No, against the turbine, which can now be built at the Klondyke Lane site by applicant Gary England.
Melton MP Sir Alan Duncan has also strongly opposed the scheme throughout the planning process.
Opponents have the option for a further judicial review in the High Court although it is unclear if they will go ahead with it.