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Planned wind turbine at lanashire university is rejected

A university's plan to build two wind turbines to generate a third of its electricity has been rejected by council planners in Lancashire.

Lancaster University wanted to build the 101m (331ft) high turbines on its Hazelrigg site near the M6 motorway.

But Lancaster City Council's planning committee rejected the application because of its proximity to nearby residential properties.

The university said it was starting an appeal against the decision.

Lancaster City Council received a number of complaints surrounding the "scale, design and location" of the proposed turbines.

But members were "reluctantly advised" to reject the application because of its impact on residents.

"The proposed wind turbines would have a significant adverse effect on a number of properties, by virtue of their design, scale and shear proximity to them," the planning report said.

"The proposed wind turbines would adverse affect their living conditions to a degree that would not be outweighed by the long-term environmental benefits of the proposal."

The university had been awarded a £5m grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England towards the £7.4m cost of the scheme.

If installed, the turbines would have been able to produce enough electricity to meet the requirements of all students who live on campus.

Appeal process

Lancaster University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings, said he was "very disappointed" by the decision.

The wind turbines had been designed to play a major role in reducing the university's reliance on the national grid, he added.

Prof Wellings said: "Whilst we are disappointed in the decision, we remain firmly committed to reducing carbon emissions, something that is in the interest of everyone living, working and studying in Lancaster.

"We will now reflect upon the views of the planners in detail and look at what further measures we can take to move this project forward in a positive way."

The president of the students' union, Michael Payne, accused the council of being shot-sighted by rejecting the plan.

"Industry experts are saying in 2017 that there will be outages if we don't take load off the National Grid," he said.

"And I think this has shown that the council has no foresight. They're thinking about today and not planning about tomorrow."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/lancashire/8674592.stm