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Severn Vale wind farm plans thrown out

By Ben_Falconer  |  Posted: November 28, 2012

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Wind farm proposals for fields in the Severn Vale have been rejected by a planning inspector.

Next Generation's appeal against Stroud District Council's rejection of its application for four, 120 metre-high turbines has been dismissed.

This morning, Government-appointed inspector Richard Thomas told all parties that the council was right to turn down the application from the sister company of Stroud-based green energy firm Ecotricity.

The plans for Standle Farm, Stinchcombe, provoked outrage in the village, but Next Generation said the turbines were in the right place to capture enough wind to generate much-needed green electricity.

In his summing up, Mr Thomas said the harmful impacts on the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and nearby historical sites was one of the reasons for dismissing the appeal.

"There is a clearly expressed need for renewable energy and the proposed development would make a modest contribution towards satisfying it, as well as making a small contribution to local employment," he wrote in his report released this morning.

"There are no significant objections to the proposal in terms of noise, public safety or shadow flicker that could not be successfully overcome by suitable conditions, and there would be limited demonstrable impact on the local tourist industry.

"However, the acknowledged nationally important benefits of the proposal have to be weighed against the significant harm that the proposal would cause to the setting of and views from the Cotswold AONB and thus to its landscape and scenic beauty.

"The AONB is acknowledged as an important national asset, the conservation of which is accorded great weight by the (planning) framework and protection by local planning policy. "In addition, there would be substantial harm to the settings of Stinchcombe Conservation Area and the church of St Cyr, and to that of Berkeley Castle, a Grade 1 listed heritage asset, also of national importance.

"These harmful impacts, together with the harm to the living conditions of certain residential occupiers, would conflict with relevant development plan policies that are in accordance with national guidance in seeking to protect the AONB, heritage assets and living conditions. "I consider that the cumulative harm is of such magnitude that it outweighs the benefits of the proposal."

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  • Bonkim2003  |  November 28 2012, 8:11PM

    pingu61 - whilst I am not against wind-turbines, you sound a little alarmist. Yes wind, solar, and other renewables, also nuclear, gas, coal, tidal, energy from waste all need to be part of the energy mix. However wind and the other renewables will only contribute a small part of demand even if full potential is exploited. Admittedly when fossil fuels run out, and we have to rely on renewables - the situation would be dire - hope world population by then is reduced substantially and our consumption based on economics is no more. Transport near standstill, and other minerals, land, etc, exhausted. Expansion of world population and consumption just cannot continue at present rates.

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  November 28 2012, 1:41PM

    Nuclear, the ONLY way forward.

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  • pingu61  |  November 28 2012, 12:49PM

    Berkley castle will not be visited by my family again. This "area on outstanding natural beauty" argument is utter nonsense, as is spoiling the view from Berkley castle. This country despirately needs ALL forms of non-fossil fuel power generation. I seriously am expecting lights to be going out in the 2017 to 2020 timescales, and energy prices to continue to rise at 10% or more per year. No doubt, John Berkeley will be complaining about that too. In the medium and long term wind farms will reduce energy prices by reducing the amount of gas we have to get by fracking or import from, often unstable, countries while developing countries are also increasing their demand.

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  • JASB999  |  November 28 2012, 12:12PM

    Hopefully the grounds of this decision can be applied to the massive incinerator at Javlin Park! Let's face it that will be far more intrusive than a wind farm.

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  • Lord_Gaga_  |  November 28 2012, 11:26AM

    NIMBY, Stroud didn't care about the M5 servise's at Brookthorpe!

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