From the Post and Weekly News – Thursday June 19th 2014
North West Devon and North Cornwall is continuing to see applications for commercial scale wind turbines being submitted to the local planning authorities, prompting comments that the area is now “a giant wind farm”
At the time Penny Mills, chairman of Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Devon, spoke to the Post, she reported that there are 36 single wind turbine applications at appeal in the area, with applications for a 46m turbine at Lana Wood, Panscrasweek and a 77m turbine at Heane Farm, Runnon Moor Lane, Hatherleigh both recently submitted.
Ms Mills also reported that a pre-application consultation letter from Murex Energy about a 67m turbine at Battledown Farm Shebbear was received by local residents on June 11. Murex Energy withdrew its previous application for a 77m turbine on this site before Torridge District Council’s plans committee meeting in May last year.
Ms Mill’s reports come despite statements in the media from the Governments chief climate adviser, Lord Deben of Winston, chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, that enough turbines have been given the go-ahead to meet climate change targets.
Ms Mills said: “We keep hearing these statements, yet it doesn’t make a difference around this area”. “There is no end to it. Our beautiful landscape being destroyed , our homes blighted, and at a huge cost to all of us. And yet according to the Governments adviser we don’t need any more. “Here in North West Devon, we are all now living in a giant wind farm, which nobody asked for and only a handful of people benefit from. How come this area is till being bombarded?”
Ms Mills said that people looking to buy a home use the CPRE website as a house finding tool, and that turbines are having a ‘dreadful effect’ and are ‘putting people off’.
She said: “People can’t afford to lose money on their homes, People are losing sales and viewings. Our area is completely bombarded, more than any other part of Devon and it’s not stopping, despite the statements”
In its pre application letter, referring to local community benefit, Murex Energy states: “In a recent ministerial statement issued by the Government it was agreed that local communities in the vicinity of the wind turbine should receive direct benefit of £5,000 per megawatt of installed capacity per annum. Murex intends to make a contribution in access of this agreed protocol. The contribution could be an annual payment to the community.
Concern has also been raised about a revised version of a planning application for a 77m wind turbine at Lawhitton, the original application for which Launceston Town Council’s planning committee unanimously voted against last April.
Lawhitton resident Shirley Lalupu said: “Lawhitton is in a area of great landscape value and the wind turbine would be visible for miles and miles”. Ms Lalupu spoke of her concern for her daughter’s family, whose Grade II listed farm would have a wind turbine about 500m away on each side. In particular, Ms Lalupu is worried about noise impact. She said; “The World Health Organisation says children are 10 to 15 decibels more sensitive to noise. They are already suffering from annoying noise from the Scarne wind turbine and are submitting a formal complaint. What is it going to be like with two?”
The application was discussed at the most recent meeting of Launceston Town Council’s planning committee on June 12. Five Lawhitton residents attended and made representations under the part of the meeting where members of the public can speak and spoke against the turbine. Various comments were made but the town council supported refusal by a majority.
Vicki James-Allen is also concerned about the proposal. She said: “I understand the need for renewable energy and I believe that, if considered and rational. it need not be at the expense of local residents and tourism.
“Onshore turbines should be sited in remote locations, far from residential properties and it is time to consider offshore sites where the impact on individuals will be minimal. It is unclear whether this turbine will directly affect my family whilst at home but we need to took at the bigger picture, particularly for this area, where this is only one of many current and proposed turbines.
If this is allowed to continue it will create nothing short of a huge wind farm with Launceston at its centre blighting the lives of those of us who live here and damaging the tourism upon which our economy depends”