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Preparing legal action against wind turbine

Mounting criticism at the lack of action from Cornwall Council in dealing with an illegal wind turbine has prompted the local authority to insist it will soon be taking legal proceedings against a Bodmin business.

The 250-foot structure was erected without planning permission at the end of November by the Dingle Brothers, on land at Callywith near the A30, and is now generating electricity to the National Grid.

The company has said the turbine, which is powering a recycling plant, has been a huge success in supplying clean, renewable energy for the business.

Cornwall councillor for the area Mick Martin said he has been inundated with complaints about the turbine and questioned by the public on why his local authority has failed to respond to the illegal turbine.

North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson said this week he would be putting parliamentary questions to a government minister on the issue of illegal turbines receiving feed-in subsidies, prompted by the situation at Callywith.

Cornwall Council said this week it is discussing various options and taking legal advice, but insists some form of action will be taken.

A spokesman for the council said: “Cornwall Council will be taking further action regarding this unauthorised development, however the exact nature and timing of this action is currently being evaluated and discussed with our legal department.”

Mr Martin said he had received a lot of criticism due to his council’s perceived inaction.

“Wherever I go, I get criticism that the council isn’t doing anything about the turbine.

“A great many people have contacted me wanting to know what is going on, and I’m glad the council is now preparing to take legal action,” he said.

Mr Rogerson said he was not against wind turbines in general, but owners had to adhere to the planning process.

“It is not right that subsidies should be paid to companies which install turbines without planning permission, and I will be taking this issue up in Parliament,” said the MP.

The Dingle Brothers say the £1.3 million turbine is making a real difference in generating clean, renewable energy.

“In the first three weeks of operation, our wind turbine has now generated 161,173kW hours of electricity, which has saved about 54,000 litres of diesel, or 46,000 cubic metres of natural gas, or to put it another way, 80 tonnes of coal.

“The turbine has also saved 308 tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere.”

Graham Dingle said he had yet to hear from Cornwall Council about any action it was intending to take.