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Joint appeal on Carsington wind-farm proposal

This is an archived press release

Friday 7 November 2008

07 November 2008

Joint appeal on Carsington wind-farm proposal

Senior Members of the Peak District National Park Authority today (Fri Nov 7) gave the go-ahead for a High Court challenge to plans for a wind-farm near the national park boundary.

Working together with Derbyshire Dales District Council, the National Park Authority is to make a joint appeal against a scheme for four 102-metre (335ft) wind-turbines at Carsington Pastures, between Matlock and Ashbourne.

Carsington Wind Energy Ltd’s proposal was approved by a planning inspector in September following an eight-day public inquiry in July. Although just outside the national park, the site is very close to its protected landscape, and adjoins the beauty-spot of Carsington Water.

Derbyshire Dales District Council’s original rejection was supported by the Peak District National Park Authority because of its major impact on the landscape.

National Park Authority planning committee chair Hilda Gaddum explained: “The giant scale of these turbines would have a visual impact well within the national park.

“Our statutory responsibility, and that of all national park authorities, is to protect the natural, unspoiled beauty of the landscape for generations to come.

“The crux of our case is that the applicants should have been required to consider alternative schemes or sites that would not have such an adverse impact on a protected landscape.

“This is an important case, not just for us, but for future applications near the boundaries of other national parks.”

Derbyshire Dales District Council Leader, Lewis Rose commented: “Whilst the District Council has never questioned the desirability or need to promote renewable energy sources, there is a clear need to undertake a balanced assessment of such proposals. In the absence of considering alternative sites, such a balanced judgement cannot be reached.”  

In his decision report, planning inspector Robin Brooks said: “I have concluded that the proposal would not unacceptably diminish the enjoyment of the countryside for the great majority of visitors to the Peak District National Park and Derbyshire in general, or of local residents.”

In September the Authority objected to another proposal just outside its boundary - for five 125-metre (410ft) turbines at Sheephouse Heights in Barnsley Metropolitan Borough. There are already 16 other turbines in the vicinity.

The Authority emphasised it supported renewable energy schemes in principle, but these wind-farms were too prominent to be acceptable close to the protected landscape of a national park, and other alternatives should be explored.

This is an archived press release

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