Goluath beats David in Winwick windfarm battle

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A WIND farm campaigner claims the approval of six turbines in a hamlet near Rugby has marked the ‘death of democracy’.

A decision was made by the planning inspectorate on Friday to grant planning permission for six 125-metre turbines built by energy firm E.On in Winwick - which has a population of 40.

The plans caused anger in the village as delays made in determining the application by Daventry District Council (DDC) led to the applicant applying for it to be heard directly by the planning inspectorate.

One of the wind farm campaigners, Sue Sherman from Winwick, said: “This is a truly terrible result – not only for Winwick, but for the countryside, which is being ruined.

“If this can happen to a village like Winwick, in an area of special landscape with a high percentage of listed buildings, it can happen anywhere.”

People in Winwick had raided personal bank accounts to set up a fund to fight the wind farm proposals - but it was all in vain.

Mrs Sherman added: “Many people in the village are describing the betrayal of Winwick as feeling like a form of bereavement.

“To everyone who helped us, we offer our grateful thanks and also our sincere condolences. It was democracy that died on Friday in Winwick.”

The campaigners - who have likened their struggle to that between David and Goliath - will be looking to force a reduction in the subsidies handed to energy firms to build turbines and also a government review in to how wind farm noise is measured.

Chris Heaton Harris, Winwick’s MP, thinks the planning decision should have been made locally.

He said: “It is a disgrace that what has been approved by the planning inspectorate would not be able to be examined in public by the local council or talked about at an appeal.”

Daventry District Council leader Cllr Chris Millar explained the plans were considered by the authority for about four months before E.On referred the proposal to the Bristol-based inspector.

He said: “I think this frustrates people and makes them feel powerless.

“If there were good reasons for this, you may not like the decision, but you would understand.

“But there are not good reasons as it is a low wind area and will involve the destruction of the area’s heritage.”