Campaigners against a proposed wind turbine on a dairy farm near Chulmleigh are angry work has started before plans have been approved.
The plan is for a 35m turbine at Mounticombe Farm, on the outskirts of Chulmleigh and Chawleigh.
Anti-turbine campaigner Roland Smith feels the applicants have contravened planning law by starting preparatory work. But North Devon Council says that isn’t the case.
Applicants Daniel and Marcus Keenor, whose family have farmed the land at Mounticombe Farm since the 1940s, have had a path put across a field leading to the proposed site of the turbine and have poured concrete for the turbine’s base.
This is understood to be because the concrete base can take up to seven weeks to set.
Mr Smith says as far as he’s concerned this means they have broken the rules.
He said: “If someone decided to build a house in the middle of a field the council would tell them to stop and demolish it. It’s my view that should happen here. I’d ask that the land be returned to its former state.”
But the council says the Keenors have broken no rules by starting work before the application has been approved.
A council spokesman said: “The preparatory works have been carried out in accordance with the plans submitted under application 53625.
“The applicants are aware the work they have carried out is at their own risk.
“Should the planning application fail, enforcement action will be considered to remove the unauthorised works.”
But Mr Smith isn’t satisfied by the council’s response.
He said: “The works may well have been done in accordance with plans but it shows a determination to contravene planning law.”
The Keenors said they did not wish to speak to the Journal. But they are happy to speak privately with anyone who wishes to discuss the application with them.
The application will be decided by the Planning Committee on November 7.
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