Mabrake – Protecting the environment in the Milton Abbot, BRadstone And KElly area of West Devon.
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We are seeking new committee members to continue the good work in protecting our environment in West Devon and beyond. Our current committee has 4 members and one associate member, but several of us are getting rather ancient and we have a concern that without new members then Mabrake may not be able to continue.
The commitment is not large, we meet every 8 weeks near Milton Abbot and we ask members to assist in any active campaigns and also bring possible new ones to our attention.
We have existed since 2008 and these are just some of the campaigns that we have undertaken and some that are still in progress:
- Successful opposition to the siting of large Wind Turbines above Milton Abbot and above Tinhay.
- Promoting an extension to the Tamar Valley AONB to cover an area up to Dartmoor – still in progress
- Reviewing and commenting on new planning applications – in particular Class Q and others in the open countryside.
- Raising concerns about the decommissioning of redundant Wind Farms – currently Cold Northcott Wind Farm outside Launceston where we have raised Freedom Of Information requests.
- Raising with Borough Councils unauthorized developments which have no Planning Permission
- Commenting on Government Policy on New Planning Proposals and Net Zero Plans – offering suggestions on how CO2 reductions can be made in an environmentally manner.
- Commenting on draft local and neighbourhood plans
If you have a concern about preserving the beautiful countryside and villages that we live in and a wider interest in environmental matters then please come and join us.
Make contact at firstname.lastname@example.org
In a previous post (August 2020) we informed you about the shameful state of the Wind Farm at Laneast in Cornwall which has not been operating for at least 4 years and is a decaying environmental eyesore. We did eventually receive a response from Cornwall County Council to say they were aware of the situation and that the owner of the site had in 2019 received planning permission to upgrade the site. Well nothing has been done!
Following this we asked Cornwall County Council to respond the following Freedom Of Information request:
What is the number of Wind Turbine installations in Cornwall that have a legal commitment to removing the Turbines on end of life and what is the number that have no legal commitment
We received the following response:
Unfortunately the Council does not hold information relating to your request in a way that is retrievable. We have no mechanism for retrieving this information other than going through each application manually. This would obviously be very time consuming and would therefore take us over the time allowances for EIR/FOI requests.
This is clearly an unsatisfactory and worrying response since it means that Cornwall County Council when granting Planning Permission for Wind Turbine installations had no standard policy on decommissioning the Turbines at End of Life!
If this is the case we can expect many more environmental disasters in the making similar to Laneast!
We have now requested under the FOI act that Cornwall County Council undertake an Internal Review of their response our original FOI request. The response from this Internal Review is overdue by 2 weeks!
Wind Turbines should not be allowed to decay at End Of Life. Apart from the environmental eyesore they contain valuable materials, such as rare earths, and should be recycyled.
We will not let this matter rest!
The Government have published a White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’ which proposes radical changes to the current planning system. If introduced these changes would be the most significant changes in the last 50 years!
The proposals build on amendments that have already recently passed into law:
- A wide range of commercial buildings can change to residential without planning permission.
- Homeowners can build two story extensions without planning permission on existing houses with two stories or more
- Additional stories will be allowed on flats without planning permission
- Builders will no longer need full planning permission to demolish an rebuild vacant buildings if they are rebuilt as homes
- There are limitations – the above does not apply to listed buildings, AONB etc and they will have to abide by building regulations
The new proposals include: a National Target to build 300,000 homes per year with mandatory local targets, there is also a large increase in Permissive Developments which will severely restrict Borough and Parish Councils from being able to scrutinise new planning applications on behalf of local residents.
If you have concerns about these proposals then the White Paper can be accessed by searching online. The consultation period ends on the 15th October. Alternatively you can email the local MP Geoffrey Cox at email@example.com
The Wind Farm at Laneast (Nr Launceston) has not been operation for some time and as you can see below some turbines have no blades and others no longer move!
This is an environmental eyesore and potential hazard. When Planning Applications were approved for wind turbines such as these we were told by councils that such installations would temporary and at end-of-life they would be removed and the land restored to its original state.
Mabrake has written to Cornwall County Council about this matter and we await their response.
Mabrake and others have successfully lobbied to stop the installation of new On-Shore Wind Turbines. However a new threat is growing. Powerful energy companies and investment groups are pressing the government and opposition parties to allow many new Turbines to be installed in the UK countryside. They argue that this is necessary to meet the new government target of a UK net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. This is not true!
The UK has done remarkably well in building renewable energy capacity through Off-Shore Wind Turbine investment, something Mabrake supports. There are many other ways that our renewable energy resources can be expanded without destroying our countryside. For example why are not all major commercial buildings encouraged to install solar panels on their roofs, why are not all new residential buildings made to install solar tiles (more attractive than panels) as part of building regulations.
Mabrake recently contacted our local MP Geoffrey Cox on this matter,in the past he has supported our campaigns against specific applications to install large wind Turbines locally. He has promised to lobby on our behalf to resist any changes to government policy in this area.
If you want to add your voice and tell Geoffrey how you feel about the prospect of large new wind Turbines then he can be contacted on: firstname.lastname@example.org