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Councillor feels frustrated about turbine decisions

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: November 15, 2012

TURBINES: Chris Leather.

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A TORRIDGE district councillor said he feels frustrated when determining wind turbine applications, because he believes the council has no option but to approve them all.

Councillor Chris Leather, who is on the council's plans committee and represents Orchard Hill, said he feels "castrated" as a councillor when a wind turbine application comes before the committee.

Mr Leather made the comment at a plans committee meeting on Thursday, November 8, where councillors approved two more single turbine applications.

After the meeting he said: "It is as if I am castrated as a councillor. You are damned if you do and damned if you don't when it comes to turbines.

"If we refuse an application more often than not a developer will appeal the decision and it seems as if the Planning Inspectorate, who then determine the application, never refuse a turbine.

"While we have a renewable energy group now in the council there is still a lot of information we don't know.

"We can't delay deciding on wind turbine applications but at the same time we need to know more.

"Turbine applications are the most contentious part of being on the plans committee at the moment; it is a real job to consider these things.

He said the Government needs to take more notice of local people and their feelings against these turbines.

But a spokesman for the Planning Inspectorate said it upholds the majority of local council decisions.

He said: "On average 34 per cent of appeals are allowed nationally.

"Between April 2010 and June 2012 the inspectorate heard just over 250 appeals nationally concerning wind farms or turbines and of these just over half were allowed.

"In North Devon, four appeals were received with two being disallowed.

"Inspectors are appointed to hear wind farm appeals for their experience, skill and judgement.

"Every case is judged on its merits and on the evidence placed before the inspector, who is required to give sound reasons for his judgement in each decision.

"Inspectors will always remain impartial when deciding an appeal. They are rigorously trained to ensure that they develop and maintain the skills necessary to undertake the work they are given."

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  • flobberdob1  |  November 15 2012, 10:20PM

    You all windge about these wind turbines but you don't say what an alternative should be, I would like to see population control as an alternative .

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  • rolandsmith  |  November 15 2012, 8:17PM

    Frustration and castration are not material planning considerations ;-) Enough is enough. ...and to Sandman: job will be done

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  • sandman18  |  November 15 2012, 2:32PM

    We still need objection letters for the proposed 5 X 125m turbines at Meddon so if you can and feel "enough is enough" write to TDC the details are on our website http://tinyurl.com/96bxqsl please please do it before the whole of this beautifull corner of Devon is sacrificed in the name of GREED."

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