February 15, 2012

Villagers claim victory in fight against turbines

Cornish Guardian, www.thisiscornwall.co.uk 15 February 2012

A village action group has urged others to fight wind turbine applications after its campaign helped block two bids in Withiel.

Cornwall councillors have thrown out planning applications for a 46-metre structure at Higher Tregawne Farm and another measuring 34 metres at Bosnieves Hill.

However, the council’s East planning committee which met in Liskeard, allowed a 46-metre turbine east of Hendra Farm.

Councillors overruled their own planning officers, who had recommended all three be approved.

Members of the committee took exception to the adverse impact two of the structures would have on the countryside, which is designated an Area of Great Landscape Value.

Cornwall councillor for the area, Mick Martin had previously urged the planning committee to come to Withiel for a site visit before making a decision on the applications.

There, they spoke to residents and looked at the topography to gain information on how the wind turbines would affect the landscape.

Withiel action group secretary Patrick Malone said he and his members had appreciated the time and effort Cornwall councillors had made before reaching a decision.

“We’re grateful to the planning committee for its rigorous and open-minded approach,” he said.

“Even if wind turbines represented a useful contribution to power security and a meaningful reduction in CO2 emissions – and they do neither – the committee recognised that these machines were out of scale and in the wrong place.

“Those in Cornwall who defend the landscape can take heart. You should fight, and you can win, even against big business and perverse politics,” said Mr Malone.

Mr Martin said the decision to block two of the turbines was good news for the village.

“The committee thought long and hard over the applications, but having come to Withiel to look at the adverse impact the turbines would have on the landscape, they made the right decision in refusing two of the applications, because allowing them to be built would have been contrary to the Cornwall structure plan in an Area of Great Landscape Value.

“The turbine which was allowed was not in such a sensitive area,” said Mr Martin.

“I’m pleased for the village and the residents who fought against them.”

One of the wind turbine applications was by Withiel parish council chairman John Piper, which had been opposed like the other two by his own council.

Mr Piper said this week he did not wish to comment on the decision of Cornwall Council.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/02/15/villagers-claim-victory-in-fight-against-turbines/