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Sunderland Hill turbine ‘no vote’ cheered by campaigners in packed meeting at Harpur Suite

COUNCIL PLANNING MEETING - HARPUR SUITE - BEDFORD 18.08.14
CELEBRATIONS BY RESIDENTS OF RAVENDEN VILLAGE OUTSIDE THE HARPUR SUITE AFTER THE COMMITTEE REJECTED THE APPLICATION FOR THE WIND TURBINE.
THE COMMITTEE REFUSED THE APPLICATION. PNL-140819-122101001

COUNCIL PLANNING MEETING - HARPUR SUITE - BEDFORD 18.08.14 CELEBRATIONS BY RESIDENTS OF RAVENDEN VILLAGE OUTSIDE THE HARPUR SUITE AFTER THE COMMITTEE REJECTED THE APPLICATION FOR THE WIND TURBINE. THE COMMITTEE REFUSED THE APPLICATION. PNL-140819-122101001

Campaigners against plans for a 78m-high wind turbine in Ravensden broke into cheers and applause as the application was turned down by councillors.

Packing out the Harpur Suite, in Bedford on Monday, residents from Ravensden and nearby villages were relieved when Bedford Borough Council’s planning committee refused permission to erect the turbine on Sunderland Hill.

Campaign organiser Mike Hudson said: “We’ve waited a full year-and-a-half for this decision, which has meant a long period of stress and anxiety for the whole village and its neighbours in Renhold, Wilden, Keysoe and Thurleigh, many of whom would have had direct views of the site.

“The fact the turbine was refused to cheers - and the managing director of the applicants’ firm was clapped by a single person - tells you everything you need to know about the lack of local support. It was the wrong plan for the wrong place and this was democracy in action.”

The committee was addressed by Ravensden resident and wind turbine planning expert Steve Arnold, who outlined the impact the development would have given its position on one of the highest points in Bedfordshire, about 75m above sea level.

He said it would be visible across the surrounding countryside and as far away as Ampthill, St Neots and the M1.

He added it would also adversly affect 21 historic and listed buildings, and nearby footpaths and bridleways.

During the course of the application, the council received 407 letters of objection to the plan, including one from North East Bedfordshire MP Alistair Burt, and 12 letters of support.

Planning officers recommended the council refuse the application on the grounds the turbine would have a detrimental effect on the landscape, on residents in nearby properties and historical buildings. It would also effect users of public rights of way, and bridle paths.

After hearing from campaigners and the applicant, committee members voted to refuse permission, with three councillors abstaining.

The application was submitted by Northampton-based Offgrid Power Wind Limited. The company did not wish to comment.

The meeting was held in the Harpur Suite to accommodate the number of people wishing to attend.

 

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