A CONTROVERSIAL application to site a wind turbine on a farm near Ashbourne has been approved by the area’s planning members, despite neighbours pleading with them to turn it down.
Six speakers stood up at last week’s meeting of the Derbyshire Dales District Council Southern Area Planning Committee as they met in Ashbourne Leisure Centre to discuss an application to build a 27.9 metre turbine on land at a farm in Dog Lane, Hulland Ward.
A string of representation letters had been put forward to the committee in a report by planning officer William Shaw, who had recommended the members grant approval for the turbine.
The application followed the refusal of an earlier application for a 34.2 metre turbine, which subsequently lost an appeal, on a nearby site and Mr Shaw concluded in his report that the impact on its neighbours had been diminished in the plan for a smaller turbine in a different part of the farm.
Residents living nearby highlighted the turbine’s close proximity to other properties and the adverse affects it might have in terms of noise and its impact on the landscape - which is close to Carsington Water. There were also fears of setting a precedent for future applications.
However the applicant, Tim Wheeldon, also spoke at the meeting to explain to members that the turbine would help him in developing his dairy-farming business in to a profitable and sustainable concern to pass on to his two sons.
Although a motion was put forward to turn down the application at an early stage in the discussion that followed it was quickly lost and a majority of members agreed that it was a sustainable way to help a dairy farm survive in a tough economic climate.
Councillor Sir Richard FitzHerbert told members: “A 160-head dairy farm is marginal in this day and age and if we want to keep Britain farming we have to be open to looking at other areas of income.”