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‘Shambolic’ handling of plan angers group

Anger over how Torridge District Council is dealing with a controversial wind farm plan has led to protesters lodging an official complaint.

Since plans for six 140m high turbines at Meddon were put forward last year, protesters claim the application has been handled in a “shambolic and incompetent” fashion.

The final straw came at TDC’s last planning meeting of 2010 when wind farm developers Wind Venture applied to put up an 80m mast to gather wind data.

After the meeting, at which the go-ahead for the mast was given, Meddon resident and anti-turbine campaigner Peter Austin claimed yet more paperwork from the protesters was missing.

The former RAF Wing Commander said: “My application to speak at the meeting was lost and on the day I was only allowed to speak at the chairman’s discretion.

“Parish council objections weren’t included in the public agenda, the document everyone will refer to in future.

“Already the council has denied receiving eight letters of objection from us, so we had to re-send them and right at the beginning the public notice about the wind farm application was in a Cornish paper, not the Journal, so we didn’t see it straight away.

“It’s shambolic and makes the council appear incompetent. And to make matters worse when I asked officers about this, all they repeated was the way they did things was foolproof.”

Now Mr Austin has registered an official complaint with the council, querying the council’s procedures for dealing with applications.

Council spokesman Ian Hayter said: “We have received an official complaint on this matter and this is currently being investigated by our complaints officer. There is a complaints process that has to be followed and until this has been completed we are unable to comment further.”