LAST night’s decision by Huntingdonshire district councillors to refuse permission for a four-turbine wind farm near Kimbolton will go to appeal, the developers said after the decision.

HDC's development management panel unanimously endorsed planning officers' recommendation that the application be turned down. They said it would dominate three nearby conservation areas and several important listed buildings.

Although the plan for eight turbines at Bicton Park has been reduced by the applicant, Broadview Energy, to four 125-metres-tall structures, even the revised scheme exceeds the one-to-three windmills that should be allowed for the entire area, according to HDC's 2006 planning guidance.

Planners took comfort from a planning inspector's endorsement of HDC's wind farm strategy when, shortly before Christmas, he allowed an appeal for eight turbines at Cotton Farm, the site if the WWII Graveley airfield.

Broadview immediately gave notice of appeal - which has become standard practice when wind-farm applications are turned down.

The company's project manager, Tom Cosgrove, said: "Having submitted a thorough and robust environmental statement to the council, engaged in protracted post-planning submission discussions and provided additional information, we are very surprised that our application was refused on the basis of lack of information."

Stop Bicton Wind Farm action group chairman Richard Murphy said after Broadview's announcement: "It is unsurprising that Broadview have decided to appeal. They have a lot of money riding on this development and probably cannot afford to lose.

"What is of note is the speed at which they issued a press statement that it would appear had been prepared in advance of the meeting and suggests they expected to lose this stage.

"It is unseemly that they have not paused for thought to digest the thorough and comprehensive defeat they suffered tonight and shows the blatant disregard they appear to have for local planning policy, national standards and overwhelming opposition from the [district] council, the parish councils and the local population."