East Allington Parish Council has voted unanimously to oppose a proposed wind turbine near the village.
The proposed structure, nearly 35 metres high, would be erected three metres below the summit of one of the highest hills in the South Hams.
A site meeting was held on Saturday January 11, followed by a public meeting attended by 12 people who expressed broad opposition to the plans, although one person spoke up in support.
At a meeting of the full parish council last Wednes-day the vote was taken to oppose the development. According to the clerk to the council, its decision reflected a strong feeling against wind turbines in areas of great landscape value.
The deadline for comments to be submitted to South Hams Council was last Friday, January 17, by which time there were 25 letters of objection and none of support from members of the public.
Concerns were expressed about the close proximity of the proposed site to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well as the Slapton Site of Special Scientific Interest, the effect on wildlife such as bats and birds, and the danger that approval might ‘open the floodgates’for further turbines .
Typical comments include one from Keith McCombe of East Allington: ‘The turbine would have a devastating effect on the local landscape. Quite literally, the proposed site is one of the highest points around south Devon and would therefore be seen and heard by many households.’
Many letters of objection also cited a possible detrimental effect on tourism in the area, such as the one from Dulcie Dixon of East Allington: ‘Our holidaymakers expressly come to the area to walk and enjoy the stunning scenery and serenity of our landscape, which will be marred irreversibly.’
The original application received on November 17 last year gave the address of the proposed site as Higher Coombe Farm, East Allington. However, an updated application form dated January 7 changed this to ‘field at Higher Coombe’.
Because of this, ‘the Environmental Health consultation did not take into account noise levels or flicker effects at Higher Coombe Farm when assessing the noise impact of the proposed turbines on nearby properties, nor on several other residential and holiday rental properties in the immediate vicinity’, as pointed out in a letter to South Hams Council from the owner of Higher Coombe Farm. The main farmhouse is around 500 metres from the site.
The original proposal also stated: ‘The applicant is the freehold owner of Higher Coombe Farm, including the application site.’ This is not the case, although land that belonged to the farm some twenty years previously, and includes the proposed site, is owned by the applicant David Lethbridge.
The application and associated documents can be viewed on the South Hams Council’s planning website at www.southhams.gov.uk.
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