A THIRD wind turbine is to be erected on Morridge Top – leading to claims the area will now become a "dumping ground" for the structures.
Planning inspector Alan Novitzky has allowed an appeal by Hallmark Power Ltd to erected a 34.2 metre (113 feet) to blade tip turbine including kiosk and access track on land north of Lane End Farm, Bradnop, near Leek.
The appeal follows the refusal of planning permission by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council.
Mr Novitzky said in his decision report: "There would be a degree of harm in addition to that caused by the existing turbines.
"However, the relatively small scale of the turbines, and the characteristics of the viewing locations and distances involved, would mean that the addition of a further turbine would not critically alter the impact on the landscape.
"Tourism is an important element in the local economy and may well expand with the Churnet Valley Masterplan.
"However, there is little evidence to indicate whether renewable energy projects have a harmful effect on tourism generally. In this case, an additional turbine of the scale and in the location proposed is not likely to have a materially harmful effect on tourism."
But ward councillor Linda Malyon said: "This is an awful decision and one we did not expect being approved. We asked for an informal hearing, but again we were refused.
"This is going to devastate the area. I thought we had now had our share of turbines.
"This is one of the highest parts of the Staffordshire Moorlands and the turbines will be in view for miles.
"We are presently going for an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) status at a time we are having more turbines on the horizon. The Government has got to start listening." Near neighbour to the site, Graham Baker, said: "What worries me is the way the council and planning inspectorate conduct the applications.
"When the original application went in we heard nothing about it. As nearest neighbours we should have had a letter.
"I pointed this out to the council and the plan was postponed for a while. A poster was then stuck up nowhere near us.
"When it to appeal we did not hear anything for a while. We did then put in an objection months ago, but we have heard nothing since. We have been told by other people it has been approved.
"We moved here because of the picturesque area. This will open the floodgates as others will be stuck up on Morridge Top. It will become a dumping ground. I have nothing against the farm or any personal issues, but there is a cost to this. It creates no employment, but ruins the landscape and will stop people coming to the area."
Fellow neighbours Kath, Phil and Samantha Cooper said they submitting an objection on January 3 but heard nothing until August 10 when a another resident informed them the turbine had been approved by the Bristol-based inspector.
In a letter to the Post & Times they said: "We have read the report and are concerned that six times the inspector mentions harm from this project.
"This was refused by the local council twice because they know it will detract from our beautiful landscape. Why should someone who does not live anywhere near here make a decision that will effect us daily and for so long."