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‘Business will close’ if wind farm is approved

A Holsworthy business could be forced to move out of the area if plans for a neighbouring wind farm go ahead.

The British School of Yoga (BSY), which chose the site at Dunsland Cross because of its tranquillity, says all plans to expand the centre will be abandoned and it will be forced to quit Devon altogether.

Torridge District Council refused plans by Bolsterstone Wind Power Ltd to develop a four-turbine wind farm at the site outside Holsworthy nearly three years ago.

However, the company has now amended its proposed scheme and is looking to submit another planning application, this time for three 100m turbines.

It says, if approved, the development will provide enough energy to power more than 3,600 homes and potentially displace a minimum of around 7,450 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions during each year of operation.

In a project update, which has been distributed to residents, the firm says: “We have been working to re-format the scheme in order to address the council’s reasons for refusal.”

The council received more than 200 representations on the proposal, including a 311-page objection report by the Dunsland Turbines Opposition Group (DTOG) when the wind farm was first proposed at the start of 2009.

A spokesman for DTOG said: “This developer knows that there is very little local support for this wind farm.

“With 48 single-turbine and 15 multiple-turbine projects currently logged in the Torridge District Council system alone, opposition to wind farms has hardened.

“People who were previously unaffected, which the wind industry mistakenly thinks is ‘the silent majority in favour of wind farms’, now find themselves threatened with turbines on their own doorstep.

“It doesn’t take them long to do a bit of research and find out that the environmental, ecological and economic costs and impacts of wind turbines far outweigh any benefit they may provide.”

Ann Williams, principal of the BSY said: “There is just a hedge between where we were going to expand and this development.

“Moving out of Devon will now be a serious consideration for the centre if an application went in and was approved.

“If common sense and good economic sense prevails and this is thrown out, once we feel safe we will revisit our plans but the owner of the school has said categorically that we will move out of Devon if these plans are approved.”

Ann said the redundant buildings at the site, which was a former railway station, have also now been converted into workshops for construction training and the students would also lose their base if the yoga school was to close.

She said: “There could be huge consequences for not just the school but other people as well.”

A spokesman for Bolsterstone said the company was hoping to submit a planning application before Christmas.

The firm is encouraging anyone who wants to make representations to visit its website at www.dunslandcrosswindfarm.co.uk