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Geoffrey Cox pledges support to residents against Hollow Panson wind farm

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: March 28, 2013

By Nicole Travers-Wakeford

  • CONCERNED: Geoffrey Cox says wind farms are an issue for all.

  • SITE: The southernmost turbine would be in front of the EDF mast and other turbines would stretch away to the right.

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A MEMBER of Parliament has pledged his support to residents against a six-turbine wind farm.

Geoffrey Cox, member of Parliament for Torridge and West Devon, said he would lodge a personal objection against the Hollow Panson wind farm.

Energy giant EDF Energy Renewables has submitted plans to Torridge District Council to erect six turbines at Chapman's Well on land to the east of the A388 between Launceston and Holsworthy.

Mr Cox told residents during a meeting last Friday at Ashwater Village Hall that he is against the development which would disturb the quality and peace of the area.

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Mr Cox stated there are already 60 wind farms approved or in the planning process in Torridge.

He said: "We will be threading our way through wind farms before too long.

"I am convinced we are reaching a tipping point and we will suddenly find in two to three years that the whole of our landscape has changed.

"It's not an issue any longer just for the people who live within a mile or so. It's an issue for all of us."

If approved, each turbine will measure 115 metres in height. Originally, the energy firm proposed the turbines would be 126.5 metres tall.

However, it stated it was reducing the height by 11.5 metres.

Stephen Davies has been co-ordinating the Hollow Panson Turbine Action Group, which is against the plans.

Mr Davies said: "We were very grateful to Geoffrey for taking the time to visit Ashwater.

"He learned first hand about the damage Hollow Panson wind farm would do to our beautiful scenery and tranquil environment if it went ahead.

"We were very pleased to hear his strong opposition to this and other industrial wind farm developments in Torridge.

"We were left in no doubt of his support in our campaign."

Tim Wheeler, development manager for EDF Energy Renewables said: "We respect the opinions of the local community and have listened carefully to their views.

"Since announcing our proposal we have reduced the number of turbines from seven to six and in response to local opinion and residents' concerns have also lowered the proposed overall height of the turbines.

"We believe that the proposed Hollow Panson site is an appropriate location for a wind farm and that our planning application represents a balanced response to helping to meet the future energy supply issues that we all face."

If granted planning permission Hollow Panson wind farm could provide enough electricity to supply about 6,200 homes.

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  • Vindpust  |  March 28 2013, 5:56PM

    I see that Tim Wheeler has read the EDF wind development handbook. He is repeating the standard mantra that we have seen countless times from RWE npower, E.ON, EDF and all the other foreign-owned energy conglomerates with snouts in the trough of wind subsidies: "We respect the opinions of the local community and have listened carefully to their views". Pity that they never, ever, listen to the predominent view of the local community, which is for them to take their turbines and return to their native shores with them (the polite version!). Funny too how they invariable manage to reduce the numbers by a turbine or two, and reduce the height "in response to local opinion". The pattern is quite clear - do they think we, and the planners, are complete idiots? What are these "energy supply issues" we all face? According to Ofgem and SSE (also large wind developers) the najor issue is our failure to build reliable base load power stations. According to Ofgem this means that we face a 50% chance of power cuts if we get hard winter in 2015. Wind will be about as much use as a chocolate teapot then because it has a long and proven record of failing to produce any significant amount of power when most needed - during winter peak load. For example, on 7 December 2010, when the UK recorded its fourth highest load of 60,050 MW the UK wind fleet, with c. 5,200 MW headline capacity, was producing 300 MW, only 5.8% of headline capacity. Output in other European countries at that time was also low. The German wind fleet was recording a load factor of 3% (830MW/25,777 MW) and Denmark 4% (142 MW / 3,500 MW). National Grid agree: "Recent history has shown that wind power output at the time of the winter peak can be very low. The winter peak normally occurs when temperatures are low and this often results from anti-cyclonic conditions that also mean very little wind. High pressure normally extends over a large area and this could mean there would be very little wind generation in Western Europe." (National Grid, 'Winter Outlook Report 2009/10'. 'Generation Side Risks', 167, p.54).

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