An anti-windfarm group has urged a developer not to put the Bideford community through the ordeal of a planning appeal, after plans for three “gigantic” wind turbines were refused.
On February 2, Torridge District Council rejected a planning application to install three 299ft wind turbines in the area of Webbery Barton, Alverdiscott.
Developers West Coast Energy Ltd, based in Wales, submitted the application.
Torridge District Council refused the application, citing concerns over harm to the landscape from public views, the cumulative impact when taken with existing developments and the significant harm to the outlook from a number of identified private dwellings, which would find the turbines to be an overwhelming and unavoidable presence.
Paddy Manning, (corr) of the No2turbines Group, who have been campaigning against the proposal since 2012, has welcomed the decision.
He said: “It is hard to see that the elevated and highly-visible location, which typifies the beauty of this part of the country, was anything other than wholly speculative and almost as unsuitable a site as possible for three huge machines of industrial character.”
Dr Phillip Bratby, of Campaign to Protect Rural England Devon, (CPRE) has also welcomed the news.
He said: “The proposed wind farm has been hanging over the heads of the local community for more than three years.
“It is difficult to comprehend how the Welsh developer could have imagined that he could place three gigantic wind turbines in this part of Devon without having a massive adverse impact.”
Phillip added that he hoped the developer will see sense and announce immediately that he will not appeal the decision – otherwise the local community could have more uncertainty for six months and then have to fight an appeal.
“Needless to say, No2turbines, local residents’ action group, welcomed the decision made by the planning authority but are only too aware that this is only the first hurdle, as the developers have up to six months to appeal,” added Paddy.
“If they do, it is likely that a full public inquiry lasting several days will be needed to determine the appeal and our action group are already prepared for this and fortunately well-resourced, with professional representation lined up to support the decision made by TDC and stand up for the views of the many local residents who have so strongly objected to the proposal.”
Steve Salt, planning and public affairs director at applicants West Coast Energy, said: “We are disappointed with the decision of Torridge District Council and are currently reviewing the reasons for refusal.
“We will make a decision on how to proceed in due course.”
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