A public hearing over plans for a proposed wind farm at Morwenstow is to take place following demands from protesters.The Planning Inspectorate has agreed to the hearing after power company West Coast Energy appealed against the 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 the company to build three 81-metre (260ft) turbines near the coastal village.
One of the reasons for refusal was the “unacceptable visual impact” of the wind farm, which would have a cumulative effect with Forest Moor in Bradworthy, home to North Devon’s first wind farm.
Members of campaign group, Morwenstow Against Turbines – MAT – were concerned the appeal would be decided through written representations only and have welcomed a public hearing.
A MAT spokesman said: “This is the correct decision as it will give this community the right to give evidence and to question West Coast Energy in an open forum rather than have this issue decided by an exchange of correspondence.”
Twice members of the community have voiced their concerns at the turbines by voting 95% against them.
The spokesman said: “After two-and-a-half years of opposing the application, the residents of Morwenstow were delighted at the North Cornwall District Council planning committee vote of 12 to 0 to throw out this proposal on the grounds of adverse visual impact on the landscape, the proximity of the development to the existing turbines at Bradworthy and damage to wildlife, including protected species.”
West Coast Energy said it was “disappointed” the district council had gone against the officer’s recommendation and refused the plans.
It said it was looking forward to presenting its case to the Planning Inspectorate. It is not known when the hearing is likely to take place.
By Kathryn Fell
26 July 2007
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