A public inquiry into plans to create a wind farm in the heart of the Hawker country at Morwenstow finally got underway this week.
The Planning Inspectorate agreed to the hearing after power company, West Coast Energy, appealed against the decision to refuse an application to build three wind turbines at Crimp.
The hearing began on Tuesday and is expected to run for four days.
North Cornwall councillors went against planning officers’ recommendations and turned down plans by the energy company to build three 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 – said a representative of the group would be giving evidence, as would a spokesman from North Cornwall District Council (NCDC).
A spokesman for MAT said: “The reasons for the refusal by NCDC were very clear. The turbines would be sited on one of the highest parts of North Cornwall and would be seen for miles around. They would impact adversely with the turbines already operating at Bradworthy and they would maim and kill several species of rare and protected birds and bats.
“We have demonstrated time and time again that the proposed site is inappropriate as the turbines would cause damage to a range of protected wildlife, have an adverse impact on the landscape and harshly affect the quality of life for the young and old.”
Following the district council vote of 12 to 0 to throw out the proposal, West Coast Energy said it was “disappointed” the authority 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.
The hearing is taking place at the Parkhouse Centre, Bude.
By Kathryn Fell
31 January 2008
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