Welcome to Mabrake!

Mabrake – Protecting the environment in the Milton Abbot, BRadstone And KElly area of West Devon.

To read our latest information continue down this page and for older posts go to the “Archives” on the right hand side. Of course you may “leave a comment” by clicking on the button under the article in question.

To view a more detailed report on the reasons for setting up Mabrake and what it stands for please press the “About” button above.

To receive automatic email updates please enter your email address in the “Follow Blog via Email” at the bottom of the right hand side of this page. You will then receive an acknowledgement from WordPress (The host site of Mabrake). You must then complete the request to join by following the instructions in that email and click on the highlighted link.

Finally if you would like to become a member of Mabrake please forward your name and address to mabrake1@btinternet.com


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MACKPlan – Successful Referendum

We were delighted to see that the Milton Abbot/ Chillaton/Kelly (and surrounding districts) Neighbouhood Plan successfully passed the referendum stage on the 23rd June.

235 residents voted in favour of the neighbourhood plan being used to help decide planning applications and 23 residents voted against it; a turnout of 31%.  The threshold for the MACK Plan to come into force was in excess of 50% of the vote so the 90.7% achieved is a strong endorsement of the plan. 

As well as having a significant impact on any future Planning Applications in the area the Plan also incorporates a number of Policies and proposed Community Actions which when implemented will provide a further level of environmental protection.

The Plan now moves to an implementation stage under the responsibility of Milton Abbot Grouped Parish council. MAGPC are in the process of establishing an Implementation Team under the leadership of James Hitchcock. We know that James would be delighted to receive any offers of help to assist in the implementation of the Plan. Please contact us at gv@stoneventures.co.uk and we can put you in contact with James if you wish to help.

MABRAKE will continue its support during the Implementation Stage as we have done throughout the 8 years it took to complete the MACKPlan.

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MABRAKE – Our Committee Needs You!

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 gv@stoneventures.co.uk

Gary Vanstone

Chairman MABRAKE

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Wind Turbine Decommissioning – Cornwall CC Freedom Of Information Request

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!

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Radical New Planning proposals

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:

  1. A wide range of commercial buildings can change to residential without planning permission.
  2. Homeowners can build two story extensions without planning permission on existing houses with two stories or more
  3. Additional stories will be allowed on flats without planning permission
  4. Builders will no longer need full planning permission to demolish an rebuild vacant buildings if they are rebuilt as homes
  5. 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 geoffrey.cox.mp@parliament.uk

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Redundant Wind Farm –An Environmental Eyesore!

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.

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