Villagers in Harrold received an early Christmas present when they heard that the proposal by energy giant RWE Npower to build a windfarm between their villages has been turned down.
An appeal by Npower was heard in June in front of a Planning Inspector who recommended that the windfarm should be turned down because “the adverse impacts of the scheme would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits”.
The ultimate decision was made by Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, who accepted the Inspector’s recommendation.
Chairman of residents’ action group BLOT, which campaigned against the proposal, Brian Skittrall said “We are naturally pleased that we have won this important victory against a windfarm that would cause so much local harm.
“We are not celebrating yet because we do not know whether Npower will accept this decision and leave us in peace or whether they will come back with a third appeal or a third proposal.
“They have persecuted us for 8 years and we are sure that as long as they feel that there is a chance to get their hands on the obscene profits that windfarm operators can make, they are not going to give up.”
The proposal was to erect 12 wind turbines in two groups along the Three Shires Way as it runs between Bozeat, Lavendon and Harrold.
The windfarm would have been spread along 4.5km of the gap between the Milton Keynes windfarm at Petsoe Manor and the approved windfarm at Poddington, and it was the cumulative impact of the three windfarms
together that counted most heavily against Nun Wood.
Brian added: “BLOT would like to thank all those who have supported us over the years. We are particularly grateful to the councillors and Milton Keynes Council whose successful High Court challenge of the first planning appeal enabled us to have this second chance to get this harmful windfarm refused.
“All three local MPs, Alistair Burt, Mark Lancaster and Peter Bone, have also worked hard for us and Alistair Burt even came to the appeal in person and dramatically went head to head with Npower’s barrister.
“We also had excellent support from Councillor Field-Foster and Bedford Borough Council.
“We also need to thank the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and the British Horse Society who have supported us throughout and gave evidence for BLOT at both appeals.
“We are only disappointed that the Borough Council of Wellingborough did not support us.
“We hope that Npower will now do the honourable thing and announce that they are no longer pursuing the Nun Wood site so that we can put the 8 years of stress and worry behind us and get on with our lives.”