A council has written a damning letter condemning the Government’s energy minister for giving the go-ahead to a giant wind farm in a North Devon beauty spot.In his letter to energy minister Malcolm Wicks, Councillor Mike Harrison said he believed the “landscape and people of North Devon have been sacrificed in the national interest”.
He attacked the Government for ignoring the local opinion, which was largely opposed to the project.
Mr Wicks announced this month that Devon Wind Power had been given the green light to build 22 110m turbines on open countryside between Barnstaple and Ilfracombe.
During the consultation period, both North Devon District Council (NDDC) and Devon County Council strongly opposed the scheme.
Now NDDC is looking into the possibility of pushing for a judicial review against the Secretary of State’s decision.
The decision caused outrage among local campaign groups and MPs, as well as the two councils.
Leading estate agents warned that such vast wind turbines would lead to a massive drop in property prices – and properties just a few hundred yards from the site would be unsaleable.
In his letter, Coun Harrison said: “I am particularly angry and disappointed that such an inappropriate development has been imposed on a district where the council has taken a very proactive stance on the promotion of renewable energy.
“We were the first district council in the South West to adopt our own target and have had a renewable energy action plan for some time.
“Our work was built around ensuring that local communities had ownership and received the benefit from renewable energy initiatives.”
A spokesman for the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform said: “The decision follows a four-week public inquiry into the development in December 2006 and January 2007.
“Fullabrook Down will make a substantial contribution to meeting Devon’s renewable target of generating 151MW of renewable electricity by 2010.”
25 October 2007
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