Three turbines were recently erected at Dunsland Cross, Brandis Corner and local residents have not met them with open arms, writes Zoë Uglow.
The original application, for three wind turbines of heights ranging between 95m to 100m to the tip, was made by ‘Bolsterstone Innovative Energy (Holsworthy) Ltd’.
Planning permission was also sought for the associated infrastructure, which includes an access track, one switchgear and control building with transformers and grid connection infrastructure, underground cabling, turbine foundations, crane hardstandings, one upgraded site access point and one meteorological mast.
The application was received on Wednesday, December 21, 2011. It was highly contested by locals, with over 400 comments being posted on Torridge District Council’s planning website. The application was later denied.
A previous application for four wind turbines and ancillary development was made for the same site back in December 2008 – this was also denied.
The original proposal was denied on the grounds that ‘the proposed wind turbines would result in detrimental impacts on the outlook of residential properties Cranmore, View Farm, Fairlawns and Little Copse where the turbines would be unpleasantly overwhelming and an unavoidable presence in main views from them’.
However, a document was supplied on July 5, 2013, entitled the ‘Residential Visual Amenity Assessment’ which states in its findings that ‘taking in to account the extent of the changes in visual amenity ‘in the round’, it is concluded that Dunsland Cross Windfarm would not constitute an unavoidable presence, and appear so detrimental to views, that the properties concerned would become widely regarded by the public as an unattractive place in which to live’.
On the back of their findings, an appeal was put forward by Bolsterstone and a decision to grant permission for the three wind turbines was later given on January 30, 2014. After more than two years on the back burner, work has now begun and the three turbines have been built on land at Dunsland Cross.
In response to the application, a resident from Brandis Corner wrote a letter to the planning department, they said: “I understand that Bolsterstone Innovative Energy (Holsworthy) Ltd who won the right, on appeal, to erect three wind turbines at Dunsland Cross have sold or are selling the site to a third party for the construction of the three wind turbines.”
The new owners of the site are ‘Temporis Capital’. The Post spoke to Temporis who said they ‘politely decline to comment’.
Penny Mills, from CPRE Devon, called the turbines ‘monstrosities’, she said: “The local community has been fighting a wind farm at this site for nearly ten years. It was a terrible day back in January 2014 when an appeal inspector, working out of Bristol, allowed the application to be permitted against the wishes of local people and indeed our district council.
“He doesn’t live here so doesn’t have to put up with the consequences! I think as time went on and there was no sign of work starting, many people hoped that the wind farm would never be built.
“But their hopes have been dashed as this New Year has now seen the huge turbines erected. They can be seen for miles around – the impact on the landscape is devastating.”