Letter to Tavistock Times – Renewable Energy and West Devon Borough Council.

In case you didn’t see this the following letter was printed by the Tavistock Times last week and was written by our Chairman Dr G. Vanstone:-

Renewable Energy and WDBC

For over two years now MABRAKE have been asking West Devon Borough Council to introduce a policy on large renewable energy installations. Now English Heritage in their response to application 00063/2013 are also calling on WDBC to have a ‘wider strategy’ for renewable energy before it approves more installations. WDBC quite rightly has policies on where it is appropriate to have new housing and factory/warehouse developments but it has no such policy on the appropriate areas for renewable energy installations including the distance from residential properties and how many should be allowed in anyone area. With the large subsidies available predictably the number of applications increase and each one is considered on a piecemeal basis. Within a few miles of Milton Abbot we now have one solar farm installed, one in appeal and two in scoping, a total of over 60 acres. We have approved applications for two turbines, another 77m turbine installed and three other turbines of this size the subject of current applications. Many of these installations will be visible from Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor and from the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. They are all also situated close to residential and historic buildings.

In neighbouring Torridge 54 applications have been lodged and many have been approved on appeal. This massive expansion in applications has meant that Geoffrey Cox, our MP, has come out against all future Wind Farm applications in Torridge and West Devon. Unless West Devon Borough Council develop a policy for these installations then we will see many more and the creeping industrialisation of the countryside will continue. We are all in favour of increased renewable energy output and we in MABRAKE have supported environmentally sensitive installations, but without a clear policy to restrict future installations we shall be ruining the very countryside that the reduction in CO2 is meant to protect.

Wake up WDBC, it is time to act!

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