DC Casebook: Energy Development - Turbines ruled out in launchpad setting

Plans for a wind farm on land in Northamptonshire have been turned down on the grounds that they harm appreciation of the remains of a cold war missile launch site.

The seven 86m-high turbines would be sited in gently rolling landscape. The site was mainly in agricultural use but half of it comprised a Second World War airfield. Part of the field had been used for siting Thor missiles. The site featured the remains of three launchpads including blast walls.

Although the remains lay within the agricultural landscape and on private land, the inspector saw that their stark angular shapes were visible from nearby roads and footpaths. She opined that two of the turbines would destroy any understanding of the base as an integrated complex in the context of its historic design and operation.

Their scale would dwarf the missile site and interrupt views, she concluded. In her view, the remains would lose their impact and become subservient to the turbines, making the historic landscape more difficult to interpret. Two other turbines would be dominant in views over the former airfield, she added. This harm would outweigh the environmental benefits of the plan, she ruled.

DCS Number 100-069-271

Inspector Elizabeth Fieldhouse; Inquiry

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