Talks are underway in neighbouring rural parishes following proposals to site two new wind farms either side of the North Devon and North Cornwall border.British wind energy company Coronation Power is looking to build up to six turbines at Wheelers Cross, just over a mile east of Bradworthy – home to North Devon’s first wind farm.
Meanwhile just over the border in neighbouring Morwenstow, residents are calling for another public debate after power company West Coast Energy appealed against a recent planning decision to refuse an application to build a wind farm at Crimp.
North Cornwall councillors went against planning officers’ recommendations and turned down plans by West Coast Energy to build three 81-metre (260ft) turbines near Crimp, just outside Morwenstow.
One of the main reasons for refusal was “unacceptable visual impact with an accumulative effect with Forest Moor in Bradworthy.”
The Morwenstow Against Turbines group (MAT) are now calling for a public enquiry to put their views directly to the planning inspector as they fear it could be decided through written representations only.
West Coast Energy’s planning director, Steve Salt, said: “We are looking forward to presenting our case to the planning inspectorate.
“We were very disappointed about the decision by North Cornwall District Council to refuse planning against officer’s recommendation and await the inspectorate’s decision.”
The turbines being proposed by Coronation Power, if approved, could impact on the villages of Bradworthy, Sutcombe and Putford and as a result the three parish councils joined forces to give villagers the chance to have their say.
At a meeting in Sutcombe there were no positive comments from the floor and a few residents raised the possibility of also forming an action group to fight the proposed turbines.
Torridge and West Devon MP Geoffrey Cox was also at the meeting alongside local councillors and Vickram Mirchandani, Coronation Power’s managing director.
Mr Cox said: “I have consistently resisted large scale wind turbine developments in areas which are so dependent on the tranquillity and beauty of the landscape for its appeal to tourists. These turbines provide profit to the developer but little else to the local communities they disturb.
“They are an inefficient and disproportionate use of resources available for the cause of renewable energy, which requires the mass engagement of individuals and communities rather than these white elephants.”
By Kathryn Fell
12 July 2007
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