National Trust welcomes wind farm refusal

NATIONAL Trust bosses yesterday welcomed news that planners had rejected a wind farm scheme which they said would have affected one of the charities most famous properties.

The Trust said the “major development” which would have been made up of two 125m-high turbines would have “severely impacted” on Hardwick Hall, between Bolsover and Chesterfield.

Planners at Bolsover District Council rejected the Losk Lane wind farm scheme in Palterton at a meeting yesterday. Plans had been drawn up by Banks Renewables, which is based in nearby Barlborough

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The Trust said the Grade I-listed Hardwick Hall was “one of the country’s most iconic Elizabethan houses” adding the turbines would have dominated the views to and from the hall and its estate.

Hardwick is widely recognised by experts as one of the best intact examples of an Elizabethan house and parkland.

It was designed by Robert Smythson, the leading architect of the day, and built for Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, better known as ‘Bess of Hardwick’, one of the most powerful women of the time and an important figure in Elizabethan history.

The Hall is a landmark for miles around: it was a building to be admired from the surrounding landscape, but the rooftop walk and the array of large windows also show that the estate was to be seen from the house.

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It attracts visitors locally, nationally and internationally, with over 210,000 people visiting in 2012.

Denise Edwards, general manager at Hardwick Hall said: “As the largest conservation body in the country, there’s no question that the National Trust supports the development of renewable energy sources.

“However, we believe that the impact on local communities and natural or historic landscapes should be very carefully considered when deciding on the location and scale of such developments.

“It is hugely reassuring that the conservation setting of one of Derbyshire’s most special places has been recognised and protected.”

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Ms Edwards said The National Trust has made a commitment to cut fossil fuel emissions by 50 per cent by 2020 and there are already 140 renewable energy projects operating at National Trust places throughout the UK.

At Hardwick this commitment has been demonstrated in measures such as the installation of a biomass boiler in the new visitor facilities which opened in 2012.

Banks Renewables recently unveiled proposals to extend a windfarm it runs at Marr, near Doncaster, west of junction 37 of the A1(M).