Effect of turbine on bungalow outlook judged unbearable

A wind turbine at a farm south of the Exmoor national park was rejected because it would make living conditions at a nearby bungalow unbearable.

The 61m high turbine would not be in a prominent open location but would stand in a field above a wood in a valley, an inspector noted. He considered that the separation distance would be sufficient to prevent the single turbine from having any unacceptable impact on the setting of the national park. As it would not be prominent in the wider landscape he judged that the impact would not be sufficient to alter the character of the area from that of a landscape with turbines to a turbine landscape.

A bungalow stood 400m from the site. The outlook from the bungalow and its garden was largely devoid of manmade structures and the introduction of a 61m high moving wind turbine in such close proximity would, in the inspector’s view, create a looming and unavoidable presence that would be so oppressive that it would render the living conditions unbearable.

The inspector accepted that the major benefits of the proposal would be reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and the generation of electricity. He noted that Planning Practice Guidance for Renewable and Low Carbon Energy published in July 2013 stated that all local communities had a responsibility to help increase the use and supply of green energy but pointed out that this did not mean that the need for renewable energy automatically overrode environmental protections.

He concluded that the determining issue was the severe and unacceptable impact the turbine would have on living conditions at the bungalow.

Inspector Kenneth Barton; Hearing

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