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Border wind farm gets the green light

Controversial plans to create a wind farm in the heart of Hawker country, near Morwenstow, have been given the go-ahead.

The Planning Inspectorate upheld an appeal by West Coast Energy and granted permission to build three turbines at Crimp near the Devon-Cornwall border.

The wind company said it was delighted with the decision, which followed a lengthy public hearing, and said it hoped to start building at the end of the year.

The ruling has met with anger and disappointment. Morwenstow Against Turbines (MAT) said: “We may have lost the battle but the war isn’t over yet.”

MAT chairman John Moxey said: ” The inspector has chosen to ignore the views of the many hundreds of people who objected. The inspector has effectively declared open season on Cornwall in general and on North Cornwall in particular.”

MAT claims there are a number of anomalies and contradictions in the report and is to seek legal advice with a view to challenging the decision in the High Court.

The group said it will be in contact with North Cornwall District Council, which rejected the original application, to ensure conditions imposed by the inspector are investigated fully, and that work does not start until required surveys have been completed.

Last spring, North Cornwall councillors went against planning officers’ recommendations and turned down the original application for the 260ft turbines.

One reason was “unacceptable visual impact”, which they said would have a cumulative effect with Forest Moor in Bradworthy, home to North Devon’s first wind farm.

West Coast Energy land and development manager Neil Exton said: “We always believed it was an appropriate site.

“The inspector agreed with our original thoughts and we look forward to building the scheme towards the end of the year.”

Western Morning News

3 April 2008