PROTESTORS are in for a miserable New Year as wind farm plans they fought hard to block have gone to appeal.
The ‘short term vision’ of developers has been slammed by action group members, as an appeal has been made against the refusal of planning permission for a wind turbine at Spring Farm, in Stone Road, Bramshall.
Keith Flunder, chairman of the Staffordshire Turbine Action Group said the planning policy process was ‘undemocratic’ and focused on short term solutions rather than taking the environment and the neighbours of the wind turbine into account.
Mr Flunder said: “I am very disappointed that decisions have been taken away from the local people.
“It’s a short term outlook for those who own land, and it’s so disappointing yet again that we appear to have a policy forced on local people by undemocratic forces.
“In my opinion the environment doesn’t benefit and neither do the people in the neighbouring locations.”
Anne Francis, of the Bramshall Against Turbines Action Group said: “The action group are strongly opposed to the appeal and we’ll be making our objections to case officers.
“All our reasons remain valid and from the number of people who have supported our cause it is evident that everyone is in agreement.
“I think the developer is trying to make out we are some isolated little group, but the vast majority of people in our area agree with us.
“In fact, there is a strong indication that green energy is not all that green - for instance it was recently revealed that the manufacturing of turbines pollutes the environment to the extent that it offsets any gain for the environment.
“Anyone who wants to support the appeal can get in touch on our website or at email@example.com.”
Developer Stephen Bate, on behalf of Hallmark Power Limited said: “It is considered that the technical reasons for refusal, relating to potential impact on protected species and from noise nuisance have been addressed.
“Other issues appear to have been raised with no evidence or justification to support them, such as the efficiency of the turbine and the alleged minimal economic benefit.
“The benefits of the proposal include the provision of energy from a renewable source, amounting to approx 1.6 million kWh per year, which is the equivalent of providing electricity to 380 homes per year, a suitable contribution to address climate change and to meet national renewable targets, offsetting approximately 680 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
“Hallmark Power were naturally disappointed with the outcome of the Bramshall application, particularly the fact that the council did not engage with us before issuing the decision and did not give us the opportunity to put our case to the planning committee.
“Secondly, concerning the claims made by Bramshall residents that we are ‘disregarding the views of the community’. This perhaps shows a disregard of the planning process from those residents.
“Planning decisions should not be made solely to pacify local interest groups, they have to be made to reflect national and local planning policies.”