Disappointment after approval of wind farm between Helmdon and Greatworth

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Next steps are being considered after a planning appeal for permission to build a windfarm between Greatworth and Helmdon was upheld by the government’s planning inspectorate.

In June, members of South Northants Council rejected plans from Broadview Energy Developments Limited to build five wind turbines on land between Greatworth and Helmdon.

The company appealed against the decision and an eight day inquiry began in May.

Following the investigation, the planning inspector published her report today, Friday, saying the development should go ahead.

A statement from South Northants Council this afternoon said the inspector agreed the turbines would have a major impact on the landscape, on heritage sites within 5km of the site, would result in the loss of perception of tranquility to public rights of way, would dominate the outlook and be imposing and contrary to planning policies.

But the inspector also concluded the total impact would not outweigh the wider economic and environmental benefits and decided to approve the proposal.

It added: “This took into account the need to increase the amount of renewable energy generation in order to meet government obligations by 2020 and help reduce the impact of climate change.”

Councillor Stephen Clarke, chairman of the development control committee, said: “I am very disappointed with the decision.

“We have never questioned the need to promote renewable energy sources, however, there is a clear need to undertake a balanced assessment of such proposals which is what the council as local planning authority sought to do.

“On this occasion we concluded a wind farm in this location will have a detrimental effect on the natural surroundings and residents of the nearby villages. We will now consider what our next steps may be.”

For further information visit http://snc.planningregister.co.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=63417