Article

Controversial Devon wind farm approved

Opponents of a controversial Devon wind farm are devastated after the Government ruled that it should go ahead. The Fullabrook Wind Farm will see 22 110-metre high turbines built on a hillside close to an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Opponents of a controversial Devon wind farm are devastated after the Government ruled that it should go ahead.

The Fullabrook Wind Farm will see 22 110-metre high turbines built on a hillside close to an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Opponents say the wind turbines will spoil the landscape and hit the local economy which depends on tourism.

There was bitter opposition to the Fullabrook scheme from local residents, councils and conservation groups at a public inquiry earlier this year.

But the planning inspector, in his report, said: "On balance, I consider that the very substantial benefits of this proposed development outweigh the adverse impacts and that this development is acceptable."

The Energy Minister, Malcolm Wickes, announced that the Government had approved the scheme at the British Wind Energy Association conference in Glasgow.

"We said we needed to make tough choices if we are to achieve our clean energy objectives and that is exactly what we are doing," he told the conference.

"Fullabrook Down will make a substantial contribution to meeting Devon's renewable target of generating 151MW of renewable electricity by 2010 and would be nearly... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Opponents of a controversial Devon wind farm are devastated after the Government ruled that it should go ahead.

The Fullabrook Wind Farm will see 22 110-metre high turbines built on a hillside close to an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Opponents say the wind turbines will spoil the landscape and hit the local economy which depends on tourism.

There was bitter opposition to the Fullabrook scheme from local residents, councils and conservation groups at a public inquiry earlier this year.

But the planning inspector, in his report, said: "On balance, I consider that the very substantial benefits of this proposed development outweigh the adverse impacts and that this development is acceptable."

The Energy Minister, Malcolm Wickes, announced that the Government had approved the scheme at the British Wind Energy Association conference in Glasgow.

"We said we needed to make tough choices if we are to achieve our clean energy objectives and that is exactly what we are doing," he told the conference.

"Fullabrook Down will make a substantial contribution to meeting Devon's renewable target of generating 151MW of renewable electricity by 2010 and would be nearly double the North Devon District Council's target of 36MW."

The Fullabrook site close to the village of West Down near Braunton was earmarked as one of the best sites in Devon for a major wind farm but three previous planning applications had been turned down on environmental grounds.

When fully operational in 2010, the 66 megawatt scheme will generate enough power for 30,000 domestic customers, or 30 per cent of North Devon's total energy consumption making it one of the biggest installations of large wind turbine generators in England and Wales.

The wind farm developers, Devon Wind Power Ltd, say it will result in saving 150,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide being produced by a conventional fossil fuel power station.

But opponents were left bitterly disappointed by the decision.

Mr Peter Kingdom, vice chairman of the Campaign Against Wind Turbines (CAWT) which was set up to fight the scheme, said: " They changed the planning rules which allowed the decision to be taken by central Government.

"Even though 16 local councils, the county council, the planning authority and the local MP were against it. If this is democracy you could have fooled me."

And the chairman of the North Devon Branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE), Bob Barfoot, said: "We are all terribly disappointed because everybody knows it is not a suitable place for a wind farm.

"Not only will there be 22 wind turbines which will be seen from all over Devon but there will also be two high-intensity warning lights which will be blinking from dawn to dusk.

"The Government thinks wind is a panacea for our energy needs but it's not. It can only ever work as an auxiliary source of power. Carpeting the UK with wind farms like this is not the answer."

Keith Pyne, Managing Director of Devon Wind Power, said: "Devon Wind Power is delighted with the news that paves the way for our local area to make a nationally significant contribution to new energy generation that reduces carbon emissions, contributes to security of supply and provides real benefits to the local population and economy.

"The decision is also a huge endorsement of the professionalism of the team that worked with us for over three years to develop and deliver the project."

Nick Harvey, the LibDem MP for North Devon, said: "Unfortunately the Government has moved the goalposts by rigging the regulations in favour of wind developers. They are hell-bent on proceeding with wind despite the fact it is inefficient.

"There are other more reliable sources of renewable energy, such as tidal power, and the Government would do much better to scrap its 10 per cent of energy from renewables target by 2010, which they haven't got a chance of meeting, and concentrate instead on more realistic targets by 2020."


Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...

OCT 9 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/41084-controversial-devon-wind-farm-approved
back to top