PLANS for a wind farm overlooking Mid Cheshire have been rejected.
An application by Tegni Cymru to site the 410ft turbines at Aston, visible and audible from Crowton, Acton Bridge and Kingsley and parts of Little Leigh and Weaverham, was thrown out by Vale Royal's full council on Thursday night. Members overwhelmingly ruled it did not show the special circumstances needed to allow it to be build on green belt land.
However, the firm could still demand a public inquiry into the application. A council spokeswoman said: 'Of 31 councillors eligible to vote, 22 rejected the plan. The council will now prepare a formal decision notice, and it will then be up to the prospective developer if it wishes to appeal. In that event, the case will go to a public inquiry.'
Delighted vice-chairman of Acton Bridge Parish Council Steve Pardoe said: 'Most who spoke said the applicant had simply failed to demonstrate the very special circumstances to justify the development which was, by definition, inappropriate in the green belt.
'Many other comments were made about the exceptional sensitivity of the location and the fact that the CO2 saving from these four turbines would be insufficient to make a meaningful contribution to climate change compared to the impact on the local environment.'
Cllr Pardoe said that members of the planning committee who had, in October, controversially 'called in' the decision for the full council to decide had actually helped objectors in the battle. He said: 'At any inquiry, the 8-7 majority against the decision at the planning committee could have been regarded as ambivalent, whereas the over-whelming majority this time is much more clear-cut and must, surely, carry a lot more weight at the next stage of the process.
'Delays in hearing planning appeals are very long, so it could be that Tegni will decide that it's better to look for another site now, and save the cost and risk of failure.'