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Frustrated businessmen brothers threaten to defy law with turbine

Two frustrated millionaire businessmen from Bodmin are threatening to defy the law and erect a controversial 250ft-high wind turbine without permission.

Graham and Ron Dingle claim council planners are doing their utmost to block their renewable energy bid at Callywith Farm and their latest demands could delay the project for up to a year.

The contentious turbine has brought opposition from Bodmin and Cardinham councils. The owners of Glynn Valley Crematorium have also raised objections, complaining that if the structure is allowed to go ahead it will distract mourners attending funerals.


But the brothers, who want the turbine to power a liquid waste recycling facility, say more than 100 local businesses have supported their plans.

Last month, Cornwall councillors deferred making a decision on the turbine application and instead want a meeting on site.

The angry brothers, who run a successful agricultural supply firm, say planning officers have now demanded they pay for a £40,000 ecological survey and impact study of the area which could take up to 12 months.

Graham Dingle said he and his brother were about to sign an agreement for the delivery of the American-made turbine this week, and are seriously considering erecting it without planning approval, even though it would be illegal to do so.

They are also prepared to lose out on government payments under the Feed-in Tariff scheme for small-scale renewable energy projects if the turbine is put up without consent.

Graham Dingle said: “We have spent over £50,000 on this project and it has been with Cornwall Council’s planning department in total for 51 weeks.

“We would be fully justified in going ahead with the project to put up the turbine without planning permission because we feel there is such a need for renewable energy.

“We know we won’t get any Feed-in Tariff payments without planning permission. We will finance the £1.3 million project ourselves – then let Cornwall Council take us to court and waste more taxpayers’ money,” said Mr Dingle.

The brothers have written to Energy Secretary Chris Hulne and Cornwall’s six MPs outlining their grievances with Cornwall Council and the threat to put up the turbine without permission.

Graham Dingle claimed a planning officer’s report to councillors was littered with inaccuracies, and even if the firm went ahead with the £40,000 surveys, there was no guarantee consent for the turbine would be granted.

Cornwall Council said this week that the Dingles’ application had raised issues and concerns and a site visit was scheduled.”The deferral of the item to a future committee agenda is also recommended,” said the spokeswoman.