Page last updated at 20:09 GMT, Wednesday, 15 July 2009 21:09 UK

Wind turbine plans are dismissed

Protesters from Vortex
Residents set up a pressure group to fight the plans

Plans to build a wind farm near a Shropshire town have been refused following a public inquiry.

Nuon UK's proposals for seven wind turbines up to 360ft (110m) high at Bearstone, near Market Drayton, were considered at a public inquiry in May.

Nuon UK said the turbines could produce enough energy for 6,000 homes.

However, the Planning Inspectorate said the scheme would mean a "marked and unacceptable reduction" for nearby residential areas.

'Alien features'

It also said the "pleasant tract of countryside" concerned was not capable of absorbing the development satisfactorily.

"In terms of appearance, in this setting the turbines would be seen as large, alien features in their surroundings," the inspectors concluded.

The inspectors did accept the proposed wind farm would make a contribution towards the overall supply of renewable energy and the regional target.

The proposal was heard at a public inquiry after the former North Shropshire District Council turned down the plans last September.

'Long-lasting damage'

It had received more than 2,000 letters of objection from residents. Many residents then joined a pressure group called Vortex, to oppose Nuon's proposals.

And Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council in Staffordshire had refused an application over vehicle access to the proposed site.

Owen Paterson, Conservative MP for North Shropshire, and Bill Cash, Tory MP for Stone, Staffordshire, had backed the protesters.

Mr Paterson congratulated Vortex for its hard work and detailed research which he said led to "this fantastic result".

He said: "This huge project... would have been a disaster for the local area with long-lasting damage done to the natural environment, the local economy, property values, wildlife as well as my constituents' health and well being."

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