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Lack of parts means long delays for Derbyshire wind farm

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FOUR 330ft wind turbines in Derbyshire are unlikely to be built before spring 2010 because of a high global demand for the parts

Plans for the £1.5m turbines in Carsington were approved on Wednesday after Derbyshire Dales District Council’s decision to reject proposals was overturned after a public inquiry.

Although the plans have now been approved, it is unlikely the wind farm will be in place before spring 2010.

Neil Exton, land development manager at West Coast Energy, whose subsidiary company Carsington Wind Energy was granted planning permission, said: “There is a massive worldwide demand for wind turbines. They aren’t available from a shelf. They’re manufactured to order.”

He said the company had been confident of gaining planning permission despite the objections of over 1,400 people.

“We’re very happy with the decision because the site has a good wind resource,” he said. “It’s in an isolated location and we felt the landscape could accommodate a wind farm.”

Mr Exton believes global warming and rising fuel costs means the county will see more turbines.

“We’re looking at another site north of Matlock with a view to submitting plans but it’s very early days,” he said.

David Murray, of the Ramblers Association, said that although he supported wind farms, he was disappointed the Carsington plans were approved because they could have an adverse affect on tourism.

He said: “It is the scale of the development that we’re unhappy with. It’s in an area very much loved by walkers and the landscape attracts a good level of tourism.”

He said a number of smaller developments would have been a better solution.

Council leader Lewis Rose was disappointed at the Planning Inspectorate’s decision.

He said: “The council has never questioned the desirability or need to promote renewable energy sources, including onshore wind energy installations in order to meet the global challenge of climate change. However, there is a clear need to undertake a balanced assessment of the wider planning merits of such developments, having regard to the special qualities of the area.”

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