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Responses to wind farm plan flood in

North Devon District Council have received more than 500 responses from members of the public wanting to comment on the controversial Batsworthy Cross wind farm application.

As the time for decision making draws nearer, NDDC planning department will have to read and consider each comment before completing their report.

In November 2006, NPower Renewables applied to build nine wind turbines at Batsworthy Cross, Knowstone, South Molton.

Each turbine would measure 103 meters high from base to tip.

Each parish and town council that would be affected by the scheme has been approached for their opinion on the proposed wind farm.

South Molton Town Council refused recommendation for the application in December 2006.

Since then, Devon county councillors have backed the application and voted seven to one in favour of the planning officers’ recommendation not to object.

NDDC case officer, Alan Barnett, said: “Whenever we receive an application of this nature, we always aim to consult with as many different sections of the community as possible.

“The number of responses we’ve had demonstrates the level of public interest there is in this application.”

NDDC planning officers are required to read and carefully consider each of the 500 comments they have received.

They will need to review a large amount of information provided by NPower, including an Environmental Impact Assessment, or EIA, which examines the effects the proposed development will have on the environment.

As part of NDDC’s consultation, officers have written to more than 30 organisations, such as, the Environment Agency, English Heritage, the RSPB and English Nature, seeking their views on the proposed development.

Officers now have to consider all the details submitted by NPower, alongside consultation responses.

They will then prepare a report with a recommendation for councillors to consider.

The decision will be made by elected councillors at a special planning committee meeting, which the public are welcome to attend.

The date of this meeting has yet to be arranged.

To make a comment people can write to: Alan Barnett, NDDC, North Walk, Barnstaple, EX31 1EA. For more information contact: 01271 388288.

By Rowena Richardson

Western Morning News

24 May 2007

westernmorningnews.co.uk