Beds, Herts & Bucks

Aylesbury Vale council rejects Ford turbine plan

Protestors against the Ford turbine
Image caption Protesters had been worried about the turbine's effect on the landscape

Plans for a wind turbine "taller than Big Ben" near a Buckinghamshire village have been rejected by the council.

Aylesbury Vale District Council refused the application for the turbine in Ford, nearly Aylesbury, on the grounds it would affect the landscape.

The planned structure measured 101m (331ft) to the blade tip and was predicted to power about 350 households.

Applicant and farmer Jeremy Elgin said he was "disappointed" and may appeal.

"We will be looking at all the options and an appeal is one of them," he said.

'Somewhat perplexed'

He added that he was "somewhat perplexed" because a larger structure of 149m (489ft) had been permitted on appeal at Quarrendon, north of Aylesbury.

"We are disappointed that council members didn't see [our proposal's] merits," he said.

"When you look at the ongoing insecurity of the areas where we import our fossil fuel from, we feel a greater emphasis should be put on energy security," he said.

"Given that the UK has the best wind resource within Europe we should make more use of it."

Protesters had been concerned the turbine would ruin the natural landscape of the Vale of Aylesbury and the Chilterns.

Parish councillor Martin Usherwood, from the Ford Action Group Against Wind Turbines, said it would have been a "major mistake" to allow the application to go through.

"This was a very tall structure, bigger than Big Ben, in open countryside against the Chiltern Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty, surrounded by small villages and conservation areas with a lot of cultural heritage and listed buildings," he said.

"The danger would be that if you have one go up, others would follow."

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