Whiston Action Group welcomes the District Council Planning Committee’s refusal of the application for a wind turbine at Blakeley Farm, Blakeley Lane, Moneystone. WAG considers that if the application had been granted the turbine would have been a damaging intrusion into the Churnet Valley sky line and opened the door to further inappropriate development in the Valley.
Nick Cresswell, WAG communications officer, said,
“The decision should send a firm message to other commercial interests having scant regard for communities and the environment, who seek to exploit the valley for profit. We note that when considering the turbine application, the highway authority had serious reservations about the poor engineering standard of Blakeley Lane and its unsuitability for development traffic, a fact that may be relevant when considering other development proposals in the area. The excessive tourist development put forward by Laver Leisure at Moneystone Quarry, with its 650 holiday lodges, has implications for Blakeley Lane and remains a serious threat to the valley. Councillor Hart has resigned from the role of portfolio holder for regeneration on the District Council, and WAG hopes that there is now perhaps an opportunity for his replacement, Councillor Sybil Ralphs, to comply with the requirements of the new National Planning Policy Framework and implement what people in the Moorlands have said they want instead of what developers want.”
“The public response to the Churnet Valley Masterplan Options Report strongly signalled opposition to anything other than minimal development, and showed widespread support for designation of the Churnet Valley as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. WAG considers AONB status would be a major step towards protecting the valley from large scale inappropriate development and one that all district councillors should be striving to achieve.”