PROTESTERS have won their fight against plans to build a wind turbine near Ermington – but the applicant could launch an appeal against the decision.

South Hams Council refused permission for wind farm developer REG Windpower to build the 86.5m turbine at Luson Farm, near Westlake, last week.

The refusal was made after the Ministry of Defence said the turbine would interfere with air operations around Plymouth, eight miles away, and the council added that it would appear 'dominant and incongruous with its rural context'.

The decision to refuse the application also comes after months of campaigning from opposition group South Hams Opposes Unwanted wind Turbines.

But this week REG Windpower issued a statement saying it hoped to 'work together with bodies to find appropriate solutions moving forward' in light of the refusal.

When asked if the company will launch an appeal, REG Windpower development manager Tracey Siddle said: 'We always strive to design projects capable of generating significant quantities of safe, clean, renewable electricity while minimising the effects on the local environment.

'Therefore we are disappointed that South Hams Council's officers have decided to refuse our proposal.

'We have taken note of the concerns raised by several of the statutory consultees on this proposal and are confident that by working together with these bodies we can find appropriate solutions moving forward.

'We believe the proposal is appropriate for the location and have been encouraged by the support given to it by environmental groups and supportive residents in the area. We are now reviewing what our next steps will be in relation to the proposal and will announce our decision shortly.'

South Hams Council received around 800 letters relating to the turbine, with the majority against.

SHOUwT spokesperson Susan Martin said of the refusal: 'As a community, we believe in renewable sources of energy which provide a valuable contribution to the UK energy mix.

'However, in relation to this scheme, it is clear that it is the wrong renewable in the wrong location.

'On balance, the case for the limited amount of electricity gained against the significant negative impact on this part of the South Hams has not been made.'