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Cornish brothers’ planning fight goes on as turbine goes up

Two Cornish businessmen have defied a council order to erect a giant, unauthorised wind turbine on their land.

Graham and Ron Dingle put up the 250ft structure last weekend at Bodmin, despite earlier warnings from Cornwall Council planning officers that they may be liable to court action and a £20,000 fine if they proceeded with their turbine plans.

Planning consent was refused in September but the turbine arrived from America last month.

Graham Dingle said he and his brother, who run an agricultural supply firm and recycling facility, hoped to have the turbine connected to the National Grid within days to power their waste recycling plant.

Cornwall Council said yesterday it is now looking at taking court action to remove the structure as soon as possible.

Mr Dingle insisted the turbine, over 100 feet higher than the landmark Bodmin Beacon, needed to be erected to save the Dingle Brothers business going under after they paid £1.3 million for the turbine, and which had remained unassembled since Cornwall Council issued a stop notice four weeks ago to prevent it being built.

The turbine at Callywith Farm has been erected at a different site to where planning consent was sought and later refused.

Mr Dingle said a retrospective planning application would now be made for the turbine that has been erected.

He said: “We had to put the turbine up to keep the business going, it’s as simple as that.

“We were still managing to deal with two of our largest customers, Tulip Foods and St Merryn Meats, but we couldn’t carry on much longer like that.

“The stop notice issued by Cornwall Council ran out on November 23, so we decided to put the turbine up. We are hoping to connect it to the National Grid later this week, which will save using 500 gallons of diesel a week to power the recycling plant’s generator,” said Mr Dingle.

“If we hadn’t have put it up, we could have gone out of business.”

Mick Martin, Cornwall councillor for the area, said he had received numerous complaints since the turbine was erected, including from the Glynn Valley Crematorium, which opposed the original planning application, believing the blades of the structure would cause a distraction to mourners attending funerals.

Mr Martin said: “I’m very disappointed at the action Dingle Brothers has taken, and its disregard for the democratic planning process.

“A number of people have contacted me saying they are extremely upset at what has happened.”

A spokesman for Cornwall Council said: “We are considering all our legal options to seek the earliest removal of the turbine.”