In one day three wind turbine application appeals for the Holsworthy area were rejected by the government’s planning inspector.
The applications had already been rejected by Torridge District Council (TDC) but the three renewable energy companies behind the applications decided to appeal.
The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) objected to all three applications and the organisation’s North Devon spokesman, Penny Mills, said she was “delighted with the news”.
In contrast the founder of Ecotricity, one of the renewable energy companies which had an application turned down, believes the decision shows “the energy market itself is being rigged in favour of fossil fuels”.
Ecotricity’s founder Dale Vince said he was disappointed by the decision, particularly as Torridge’s planning department recommended the application at Witherdon Woods be approved three years ago.
He said: “Since then we’ve got a new government – a government that has blocked renewable energy at every turn and has changed the whole basis of the consent process to be firmly against wind energy.
“It’s just a few weeks since David Cameron came back from Paris, having agreed with the rest of the world that we need to prevent a catastrophic temperature rise, which we can only do by switching to renewable energy.
“That was on the world stage, back here in Britain it’s business as usual, a planning process that won’t allow wind energy while the energy market itself is being rigged in favour of fossil fuels.”
The three single wind turbine applications up for appeal were planned for Battledown Farm and Badworthy Farm near Shebbear, plus Witherdon Wood near Broadwoodwidger.
Government planning inspector Neil Pope decided on January 29 to reject all three applications, primarily because the benefits of the schemes were outweighed by the harm to the local setting and none of the three satisfied “the environmental dimension to sustainable developments”.
CPRE spokesman Penny Mills believes local opposition played an important role in the final decisions.
She said: “Proposals for large commercial wind turbines at these sites have been in the pipeline for a number of years.
“There had been strong opposition to them right from the start, from the local community, from residents and the local parish councils, so I know that they will be very relieved that none of them will be going ahead.”
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