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Wind turbine for Haverhill fails at appeal

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A wind turbine
A wind turbine

A controversial planning application for a wind turbine near Haverhill’s Ladygate Wood has lost at appeal - because it did not have the support of local people.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Development Control Committee first considered the application for a 78 metre high wind turbine at Nosterfield End in January 2014 and refused it the following month based on harm to landscape character and visual amenity.

Engena Limited appealed the council’s decision on behalf of applicant James Sills and on Monday planning inspector Ron Boyd gave his decision - that the appeal had failed.

He said the proposal would impact the living conditions of people in properties within 1km of the site who would have ‘significantly changed outlooks’ and was contrary to Government planning policy in not having the backing of the ‘affected local community’.

In his conclusion, Mr Boyd stated: “Notwithstanding that the benefits of the proposal, which I have identified above, also attract substantial weight, I conclude that the combined hams of the proposal would be such as to significantly outweigh those benefits.”

The town council, surrounding parish councils, local councillors and residents were among those who objected to the proposal.

A spokeswoman for the borough council said: “Key to the planning inspector’s ruling to uphold the planning committee’s decision refusal was this lack of support of the local community.

“Government guidance, published in June, sets out new considerations for wind turbine development, which can now only be approved if the land is designated for the use and if the application is supported by the local community. It was evidently not in this case.”

John Fairlie, director of Engena, said: “We are, naturally, very disappointed with the appeal decision. Unfortunately, neither my client or I can provide any comments at this stage until we have fully reviewed the inspectors report.”

Only the High Court has the power to quash the planning inspector’s decision.