The firm behind a failed £39 million bid to build Cornwall’s biggest wind farm, turned down by planners last October, is to appeal against refusal of the application.
Good Energy, which owns the Delabole wind farm, had applied to erect 11 turbines, each with a maximum blade height of 125 metres (410 feet) on five sites totalling 100 acres around Week St Mary.
Cornwall Council’s strategic planning committee refused the application 14-6 in line with the recommendation of planning officer Gemma Dunn, who said it would harm the landscape, included listed churches at Whitstone and Week St Mary and a scheduled ancient monument, Warbstow Bury.
With the six-month deadline nearing, the company has now told the Planning Inspectorate it wants to appeal.
A spokesman said: “We remain firmly convinced this is a good site for a wind farm and that there is a strong case for planning consent.
“It’s still early days but we look forward to presenting our case to the planning inspector. We are not appealing the decision at Little Exe, which we have since acquired, and will revisit options for it in the future. In the meantime it remains a residential property.”
CARE – Communities Against Rural Exploitation – which vociferously opposed the application must now meet and decide whether to join Cornwall Council in fighting the appeal.
There are opponents throughout the village communities in North Cornwall, and if they do decide to become officially involved in the appeal procedure it is estimated that they will have to raise around £40,000 to employ a barrister to present their case, as well as expert witnesses in ecology and landscape.
If they take part in the appeal they will be granted Rule 6 status, which means they can contest points outside those agreed in a statement of common ground made between Good Energy and Cornwall Council, which states the points on which the appeal will be fought.
Richard Sowerby, chairman of CARE, said yesterday: “We will have to meet at some stage and decide what we will do. An appeal hearing is probably six months off.
“Cornwall Council can only fight the appeal on the grounds on which [it] turned the application down, but if we take part as a Rule 6 party we can bring up other objections. We will consider our position when we hear officially that the appeal has been lodged.”
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