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Torridge asks Cameron for turbine help  

Credit:  By Philippa Jenkins | North Devon Journal | April 18, 2013 | www.thisisnorthdevon.co.uk ~~

A letter has been sent to David Cameron by Torridge District Council plans committee asking for advice on how to deal with the numerous wind turbine applications it receives.

The letter was sent to the Prime Minister on Thursday, and it was then read out to the whole council at a meeting on Monday night in Bideford Town Hall.

Councillor Rosemary Lock, the chairman of the council’s plans committee, said the letter has arisen out of the briefing sessions the committee has started to have after each monthly meeting.

The letter says there is no political agenda behind it and the plans committee is neither opposed nor supportive of wind energy.

It highlights the dilemma the committee faces with having to follow national wind energy policy, which favours turbine applications being approved, but then also being urged by the Localism Act 2012 to put a significant weight on public opinion.

The committee’s struggle is shown by the fact the council is yet to win an appeal against a turbine application.

The letter reads: “I would like to know from one politician to another, how do you explain to local residents who collectively, vehemently oppose applications for turbines in their parishes that their opinions are secondary to a decision, which was made in parliament in 2011.

“Do we need to advise the communities that we represent, that their time would be better spent not campaigning against protecting their landscapes, as the national policy will overrule any actions they take?”

The letter requests an audience with Mr Cameron to discuss the matter within the next two months.

Councillor Kathy Murdoch, who is also a member of the plans committee, was credited during the meeting with having drafted the letter.

She said after the letter was read out: “If you don’t try you don’t get.

“If we don’t get a reply all of us who are physically able will be going up to 10 Downing Street and staying up there until we get an answer.

“Something radical has really got to change.”

The letter was read out at the meeting in conjunction with a notice of motion which council leader Barry Parsons had put forward which suggested sending a letter to David Cameron.

Mr Parsons explained he had written the notice of motion a few weeks ago and that the plans committee had written and sent the letter in the meantime.

The council’s standing orders were suspended to allow a discussion to take place on the matter.

Many councillors voiced their support of the letter being sent but also concern that if wind turbines are not used to generate energy something will have to be put in their place such as a tidal or nuclear scheme.

It was agreed to refer the matter to the council’s community and resources committee for further discussion.

Source:  By Philippa Jenkins | North Devon Journal | April 18, 2013 | www.thisisnorthdevon.co.uk

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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