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Bats help defeat turbine scheme

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: March 08, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

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PERMISSION to erect a wind turbine at a site along Ipstones Edge has been refused.

The application for the turbine, which would have an overall height of 17.75 metres (58 feet) was on land at Rock House Farm.

It would be sited to the south east of a group of buildings associated with the farm, including the farmhouse.

Ipstones Parish Council had objected to the scheme on the grounds of visual impact and being unneighbourly.

The parish council also stated it was concerned that there were too many turbines in the area, which have a visual impact on the countryside around it.

The district council's ecology officer had also objected on the grounds that there was a lack of information with regard to bat activity and failure therefore to comply with Natural England Bat Conservation Trust Guidelines.

Planning officer Jane Curley told a meeting of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council's planning committee: "The scoping study has considered the likelihood of bat roosts in some nearby trees and the applicant's building, finding there to be limited roosting opportunities.

"However the report omits to consider the close neighbouring farm premises within a 50 to 150 metre radius to the south west of the site

"Therefore we do not know if bats are in the area, We cannot make a decision because we have no assessment."

Five letters of objection were also received which raised concerns that the turbine would not be in keeping with the rural character; have a negative effect on the tourist industry; be risk to wildlife and ecology and that it would open the floodgates to more proposals in the area.

Councillor Linda Malyon moved that the planning committee refused the application. Members voted by 10 votes to one in favour of refusal.

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