09:00 - 21 January 2004

Plans to build a wind turbine in North Devon have been dramatically halted just days after another application appeal was scrapped.

Last week, National Wind Power (NWP) announced it had decided to withdraw its appeal against the rejection of an application to build three 300ft-high turbines at Higher Beckett, Ashwater, near Holsworthy.

Now the company has dropped another appeal against the rejection of an application to build a single turbine, 300ft tall, at Carn Brae on the outskirts of Pyworthy, near Holsworthy. Supporters say it would have produced enough electricity for 3,000 homes. The turbines would have been over 100ft taller than Nelson's Column, and protesters say would have been visible over a vast swathe of Devon.

News of the withdrawal of the appeals comes as MEP Caroline Jackson, chairman of the European Parliament Committee on the Environment, publicly backed Devon protesters, and described onshore wind turbines as a "blight on the environment".

A series in the WMN has highlighted concerns about onshore wind turbines, and their potential effects on the environment, health and tourism.

Yesterday, Joy Bottomley, chairman of Pyworthy Parish Council, said she was "delighted" by the withdrawal of the appeals.