An energy company has announced that it has withdrawn its hotly contested application to construct a new wind farm in the region.
EDF Energy Renewables said that it has asked Torridge District Council to take no further action in considering its proposals to build six wind turbines at Hollow Panson, in North West Devon, following another review of the development plans by the company.
The news has been received with optimism by opponents of the project, but EDF has stated that it hopes to submit a revised application for the site in the future.
The energy company initially made an application to build six wind turbines on the site, near Chapman’s Well, in December 2012.
The original plans proposed turbines measuring 126.5m in height, but this was later reduced to 115m.
Onshore wind development manager at EDF, Tim Wheeler, said: “We take the utmost care with our site selection and after a review of our original proposal we have decided not to proceed with it in its current form.
“Considerable environmental, landscape and visual analysis work has already been undertaken on the proposed site and we still believe it has the potential to provide an appropriate location for a wind farm.
“We therefore intend to continue with our investigations and refine our proposal with a view to making a new planning application for a revised scheme.” Opponents of the development have raised concerns about the visual and environmental impact that the turbines would have on the area.
Last year, they won the backing of MP for Torridge and West Devon, Geoffrey Cox, who pledged to oppose every new commercial wind farm in his constituency.
Mr Cox said he was glad that the local communities and householders around the site would be “given some respite from the anxiety and uncertainty that this long drawn out process has caused them”.
“However, we need to cut the subsidies for onshore wind altogether,” he said.
“This would bring permanent relief to dozens of rural communities afflicted by the gold rush for wind power that the absurdly high rates of support are creating.”
Penny Mills, Devon chairman of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said she hoped the withdrawal would mark the end of EDF’s interest in the site.
“This wind farm would have had a massive impact on the countryside and landscape for miles around and on the people who live nearby,” she said.
“It would have fundamentally and adversely changed the outlook and amenity of many homes with both a visual and noise impact.”
A spokesman for EDF said full details of its activities in the area would be announced as soon as they are available.
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