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Community fund for windfarm locals  

Credit:  Sarah Howells, North Devon Gazette, www.northdevongazette.co.uk 8 February 2012 ~~

Developers behind the Harbourcross wind farm proposal are offering a potential community fund to those who would be affected by the development.

Wind Ventures are hoping to install five wind turbines to the north east of Meddon, which are estimated to generate enough renewable energy to power up to 5,500 homes.

But Ross Glover, managing director of Wind Ventures, explained that community engagement is crucial to the development, despite protests from anti-windfarm campaigners.

He said: “This is why we have taken the decision to extend consultation about our proposal before any planning application is submitted, to make sure everyone who lives or works near this site has the opportunity to understand exactly what we are proposing, and what it would bring to the local community.”

There have already been two public consultations on the development, but Mr Glover explained that the focus was now on personally engaging with groups to find out what the community wants from the developers.

Wind Ventures will be looking to set up a community benefit fund of around £20,000 to £30,000 per year for the 25-30 year operational lifespan of the turbines, which they want to be spent on the needs of the community.

But Phil Ashmore, a committee member of the STOPIT Meddon campaign, stressed that the whole village was against the plans, and said: “They want to build five massive wind turbines, taller than Big Ben, in the middle of the rural countryside. This isn’t green energy, this is greed energy; as far as I’m concerned they are in it for the money and don’t care how it will affect the local people.”

He added: “We moved here to retire and run two holiday cottages, and people come back because it is so quiet and tranquil. The noise from these turbines will ruin our business.”

It is estimated that this period of consultation will take several months, after which a planning application will be submitted to Torridge District Council.

If you would like to discuss the proposals with the developers, please contact Rachel Ashby, the consultation officer, on harbourcross@windventures.co.uk

Source:  Sarah Howells, North Devon Gazette, www.northdevongazette.co.uk 8 February 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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