Wind turbine campaigners take battle to High Court

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CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans to build two wind turbines in Thorpe Satchville are taking their battle to the High Court.

Villagers fighting the proposals had previously shed tears of joy when 
Melton Council’s development committee turned down proposals for a 77m high turbine at Park Farm and a 46m high turbine at neighbouring Hall Farm on grounds that they would, due to their 
height position and movement, introduce a new element into the landscape which would be widely visible.

But the applicants behind both schemes appealed the council’s decision and, in May, planning inspector Wendy Burden gave them the go-ahead.

Insp Burden acknowledged the turbines would be visible over a wide area but found that they would be ‘within a broad undulating landscape which can absorb such structures’ and ‘would not be so dominant as to cause significant harm to the appearance of the local area’.

Now campaigners are challenging the inspector’s decision at London’s High Court. It’s understood the proceedings have been issued by two individuals rather than the ThorpeSayNo protest group.

Group member Anna Freij said: “The appeals are being pursued. There’s not really any more information at this stage.”

More than 100 villagers attended the original Melton Council planning committee meeting in September. Among the concerns raised by objectors included visual impact and noise, health fears, impact on the landscape, homes and wildlife and impact on the historic Burrough Hill Iron Age Fort.

A smaller number of people who supported the proposals argued the turbines wouldn’t have such a huge impact on the landscape and that the production of renewable energy should be supported.

Protesters stressed that they were in favour of renewable energy but had an issue with ‘massive turbines that blight our lives and our historic landscape’.

l Another wind turbine scheme, currently subject of a planning appeal, regards plans to install a 77m-high (252ft) high wind turbine at Hindle Farm, Melton Spinney Road, Thorpe Arnold.

The proposal was refused by Melton Council’s development committee on grounds that it would ‘constitute a prominent feature in the open countryside which would fail to protect or enhance its distinctive local character’ and due to its height, position and movement would ‘result in an intrusive and over-dominant feature’.

Applicant Steve Butler is appealing against the council’s decision. A planning inspector is expected to make a decision next month.