National park considers legal action on wind farm proposals

The Peak District National Park Authority will today decide whether to appeal against plans for a wind farm near the park boundary.

Officers are asking senior members to agree a joint High Court challenge with Derbyshire Dales District Council against the Carsington Pastures proposal.

West Coast Energy was given the go-ahead for four 102m-high wind turbines in September after an eight-day public inquiry in July.

Derbyshire Dales' original rejection was supported by the national park because of what it considered a major impact on the landscape. The site lies near Carsington Water, a beauty spot between Matlock and Ashbourne.

Park head of planning Bob Bryan commented: "Our legal advisers state that there are sufficient grounds for appeal. The applicants should have been required to consider alternative renewable energy schemes or sites that would not have such an adverse impact on a protected landscape."

He added: "Although the site is just outside the national park, the scale of these turbines means that they would have a visual impact well within it. Our statutory responsibility as a national park authority is to protect the natural, unspoiled beauty of the landscape for generations to come."

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