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Claims of council inconsistency with turbine plans  

Credit:  North Devon Journal, www.thisisnorthdevon.co.uk 14 June 2012 ~~

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) claims Torridge District Council is inconsistent in the way its planning committee determines wind turbine applications.

The accusation comes after the committee approved two more turbines at its meeting on Thursday.

Chairman of the Torridge branch of the CPRE Penny Mills said: “The CPRE are extremely concerned about the cumulative effect on the area of large single turbines, as were some of the members of the committee.

“But it is disappointing that some members do not share this concern despite objections from local parish councils and residents.

“There seems to be an inconsistency about how the applications are dealt with which is a huge concern, and disappointing.

“How many more will be approved before turbines become the dominant feature in our wonderful landscape? We really hope TDC address this issue.”

The committee looked in total at seven turbine applications in its May and June meetings and five were approved.

The majority of the applications were submitted by farmers wanting to diversify by cutting their electricity costs and making money from the government’s National Grid feed-in tariff.

One of the turbines approved last week had been before the committee at its May meeting.

The 34m turbine at Little Dowland Farm, near Bradworthy was approved after more information had been supplied by the council’s sustainability officer.

Councillors also said the application should be approved because a turbine of a similar height at a neighbouring property was approved at the previous meeting.

The second application which was approved was for a 20m turbine at Virworthy Farm in Sutcombe.

Councillors were divided on the application. The casting vote fell to committee chairman Councillor Rosemary Lock who voted in favour.

One of the two which were rejected was a commercial application from Aspire Planning Ltd. The 72m turbine was proposed for a site above Roadford Lake near Broadwoodwidger.

Aspire Planning Ltd said £5,000 would be generated by the turbine for the surrounding communities each year. But councillors felt the turbine would have an adverse effect on tourism at Roadford Lake and would ruin a beautiful area of countryside.

The other application which was refused was for a 25m turbine at Higher Huxhill Farm on Gammaton Road in Bideford.

Councillors aired concerns about the accumulative effect of turbines and Councillor Jane Whittaker said there was not a clear distinction as to when an area with lots of turbines becomes a wind farm.

Councillor Chris Leather said: “I am worried about the accumulative effect. It is very difficult once you allow two or three not to allow more.”

Source:  North Devon Journal, www.thisisnorthdevon.co.uk 14 June 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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