Wind of change in Derbyshire

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Eco campaigners are rejoicing as work starts on a controversial wind farm.

Carsington Wind Energy Limited has announced that work will begin next week on Derbyshire’s first wind farm, located near Carsington and Hopton and that it will be in operation by the end of the year.

The new Carsington Pasture Wind Farm will consist of four 102–metre turbines, which will increase the area’s contribution to renewable energy generation.

West Coast Energy Limited, which has been responsible for the development of the wind farm, and International Power plc, its long-term owner and operator, came up against stiff opposition from local people when it came to getting the plans approved.

The Protect Carsington and Hopton Action Group was set up by residents who saw it as a blot on the beauty spot’s landscape.

The Peak District National Park Authority also joined forces with Derbyshire Dales District Council to lodge an appeal to the High Court after a pPlanning inspector ruled the wind turbines should be built.

The unsuccessful appeal cost the two authorities just over £34,000, with the Peak Park footing 85 per cent of the bill.

Despite the opposition, the Matlock Area Climate Action Forum campaigned in favour of the wind turbine.

Laura Stevens, from the group, said: “I think it’s important that people can see renewable energy in action and understand climate change.”

She said the common objection raised against wind turbines that they are ugly is subjective.

“I don’t like the way pylons look but we have got used to pylons,” Laura said.

“We have got to go forward.This will be the first major wind farm in Derbyshire. It’s time we did our bit.”

Karen Elliott, planning manager of West Coast Energy, said “We are very pleased that the wind farm is commencing construction and we look forward to delivering the benefits of the development to the local community.”

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