The Big Field Wind Farm Appeal inquiry has now officially closed, and a report with a recommendation is to be sent to the secretary of state to make a final decision.
On Tuesday, May 10, the inquiry for the proposed wind farm officially closed, with both parties, CEREAL – Communities Embracing Renewable Energy and Life – and CARE – Communities Against Rural Exploitation – as well as their community group involving six parish councils, Rule 6, and around 113 objectors giving formal submissions highlighting their views and the benefits or negative effects the proposal would have.
The planning inspector, Paul Griffiths, has now made notes of evidence from each inquiry, which lasted nearly a fortnight, and will produce a report from the evidence with a recommendation to be put forward to the secretary of state, who will make the final decision. The planning inspector still has some private sites to visit around the proposed site area, and the secretary of state doesn’t have to follow the recommendation if he so wishes.
As for CARE and Rule 6 in the meantime, there will be a meeting that will take place to discuss what to do next. If necessary, there will be a chance to apply for a review of the final decision once it has been made; this can only be applied for if there has been a flaw in the process of the inquiries and the decision.
Jeremy Ward, a member of CARE, who lives within the potentially affected parishes of Week St Mary and Jacobstow himself, said: “I am happy with the case that was put forward and the way the professionals put our case forward. I am confident of a positive outcome, but now the case rests in the hands of others.
“CARE represented those on behalf of the local community, which I think we did very well.”
The inspector’s report will not be available to the public until the secretary of state makes his final decision. It is thought that the process of making the final decision will take approximately six months to complete, and it is hoped that a decision will be made at the end of the year.
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