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Uproar in village as council backs 45m turbine plan  

Credit:  By David Shepherd | Mid Devon Gazette | July 09, 2013 | www.thisisdevon.co.uk ~~

A special meeting has been arranged so that objectors can air their views over a controversial plan to construct a turbine on the Exe Valley skyline – six weeks after the proposal was submitted to Mid Devon District Council.

Derek Cole wants to put up the 45m structure at Queensborough Farm, near Silverton.

Opponents claim it will be visible from as far as Tiverton if the scheme is given the go ahead.

The plan has caused “uproar” in the village, it has been claimed. But Silverton Parish Council backed it at a meeting last month, when many residents say they should have been consulted.

Cllr Geoffrey Knowles, the council’s acting chairman, said: “The initial vote at a meeting in June was in favour.

“New information became available and plans were re-submitted with new documents which were not available to us at that point in time.

“We have agreed a site visit should be made in view of that new information and a public meeting is to be held later in the month so possible objectors can make further representation.

Cllr Knowles added: “It is down to residents of the parish to make their views known to the council and no representations were made to Silverton Parish Council for our June meeting.”

A number of residents fear the turbine, which is earmarked for land between Butterleigh, Bradninch and Silverton, will change the nature of the valley.

Robert Fyfe, from Leigh Barton, Silverton, fears the development will set a precedent and told the Gazette it will be visible from the M5, Cadeleigh, Thorverton and across to Tiverton.

Duncan Harrington, an ex-chairman of the parish council, said in an objection letter to the planning authority: “As a former chairman, I am utterly bemused at the parish council’s ill-considered decision to support this application and note with interest the council’s attempts to back track on the decision.”

Mr Cole wants to build the structure on his land to reduce his carbon footprint and to save on his energy bills in order to increase investment in the business.

A design statement, drawn up by Mr Cole’s agent, GVA, states: “The proposed wind turbine will combat rising electricity costs associated with farm operations ensuring the property, and enterprise, will have power for lighting, heating and machinery into the future.

“It will provide security of electricity supply and deliver environmental and sustainable benefits to both the farmer owner and the wider community, and will lower the farm’s carbon footprint and secure cost savings which will allow for increased future re-investment in the farm business.”

If planning permission is given by Mid Devon District Council, the turbine will have the capacity to generate 225kw of clean energy.

GVA also told the planning authority that the structure will not have an adverse impact on the surrounding landscape.

The meeting will be held in the Millennium Hall on Wednesday, July 24, at 7.30 pm.

Source:  By David Shepherd | Mid Devon Gazette | July 09, 2013 | www.thisisdevon.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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