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'Enough is enough' to monster turbines

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: September 27, 2012

  • MASSIVE: An artist's impression of how tall the proposed turbines could be (not to scale).

  • COUNTRYSIDE: The site of the proposed wind farm. Picture: Mike Southon. To order this photograph call 0844 4060 269 and quote Ref: BNMS20120922B-002_C

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PLANS to erect five monster wind turbines which will be bigger than St Paul's Cathedral, have pushed the MP for Torridge and West Devon to make a stand.

Geoffrey Cox MP has not, until now, objected to any individual turbine application.

But the proposal to erect five giant 126 metre turbines at Harbourcross Land at Meddon, which overlooks the picturesque village of Hartland, has made him say "enough is enough".

The application, which has been submitted to Torridge District Council by developers Wind Ventures Ltd, is currently in the public consultation phase.

Mr Cox is this week meeting with Eric Pickles MP, the secretary of state for communities, to discuss the influx of turbines applications being submitted to the district council.

He said: "There are no fewer than 60 applications currently in the planning system at Torridge.

"Enough is enough, we have to wake up and have a wider debate about the effect these turbines will have on our communities.

"These turbines at Meddon will be taller than St Paul's Cathedral.

"I have full sympathy with the leader of Torridge.

"The developers think they have a weak council, and if the application is rejected they dig into their pockets and defend the appeal while a small council like Torridge can't afford the extra legal costs of the appeal.

"It is just not fair, they are picking on this part of the county."

Earlier this year Mr Cox was one of the 101 MPs to sign a letter to Prime Minster David Cameron calling for government subsidies for wind turbines to be cut.

Torridge based anti turbine group Stop It, are also trying to drum up as much support to object to the giant turbines at Meddon.

David Westcott, the chairman of the group, said: "The noise and visual impact of the turbines would have a devastating effect on the lives of those living in the area and will be seen from a huge area including Woolsery, Higher Clovelly, the South Western Coastal Path and Bursdon Moor, a protected SSSI site.

"It will be a colossal industrial feature in our rural landscape and tourist businesses already hit by a bad summer feel even less people will visit the area if it is covered with wind turbines.

"They would also be a dominant feature just one kilometre from the North Devon AONB, a designated and highly protected Area of Outstanding Beauty that runs in a corridor between the coastline and the A39."

But Daniel Baird, project manager for Wind Ventures, said the group was unnecessarily worrying people.

He said: "We are concerned about some arguments repeated again by Stop It including those relating to visual impact, noise and effects on AONB.

"As we have told the group on many previous occasions, all these issues will be fully investigated as part of the detailed planning process."

Mr Baird confirmed the company had delayed submitting the application to ensure the surrounding communities were well aware of it.

He added: "We do not believe that there are too many wind farms in North Devon, and during our consultation we found many local supporters who agree with us.

"But the real reason we are here is nothing to do with other wind farms, it's because we believe that this is an excellent site for a wind farm."

The consultation for the application closes on October 9.

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  • Brizz_Tony  |  October 01 2012, 5:31PM

    Stork, you can already read those stories, along with ones about how government ministers and advisors (Tim Yeo, Lord Deben to name but two) have strong financial links to renewable energy, yet get to decide on the policy. It's a bit like having Garry Glitter in charge of child protection. Fifty years ago, we knew that all the new nuclear stations open or planned would be shut before 2020. 30 years ago, we knew that production of North Sea oil and gas was going to fall below consumption by now. 20 years ago, we knew that we would have to stop burning coal for electricity. What we have done about it so far is use more energy, bicker, argue, have protests, propose, back down, and build silly turbines. They will never provide more than a fifth of our power, and need constant backup for when the wind drops. Someone has to start making some real decisions, or we'll all soon be sat in the dark, listening to rusting turbines that nobody can afford to dismantle crashing to earth around us. I can cope with that, at least in short bursts. I can sit by my fire, read by lamp or torch, or just go to bed, but the economy can't do that. The quicker government accepts that it has made a terrible mistake with the proliferation of wind, the quicker we can sort the mess out. Say what you like about nuclear, but it doesn't produce carbon dioxide once built, any more than wind does, and it produces power consistently. Tidal power has suffered from lack of research because of the dash to get money out of turbine subsidies before HMG comes to its senses, but might help. Biomass? Not sure. Apart from food waste and suchlike, it has be grown, either on food land or overseas, and we already know of enough jungle clearance scandals to provide cheap wood to burn. Combined heat and power plants might be OK, but still need fuel. That leaves imported LNG, where we put ourselves at the mercy of other countries' politics, or shale gas. My money is on shale gas and LNG to cover the gap until we can get the next two generations of nuclear power stations up and running, with whatever small contribution we can afford from wind, when it is blowing. There won't be any more money left to give to the greedy wind farm builders, who will have to go home to Germany, Spain, France, Denmark etc, and spend it there.

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  • Stork  |  October 01 2012, 11:34AM

    flobberdob1 Even if the UK government were to immediately restrict, the existing "unrestricted" mass immigration into the UK. There would still be a shortage of housing for the indigenous UK population. There has been a UK shortage of housing for something like 30 or more years. That's why our housing is so expensive. When I bought my first brand new house in 1969. There were oodles of new houses available on the market, at about 3 to 4 times the then average UK wage. Depending on which report you read, the UK average wage is now about £23,000. Do you know of oodles of nice, ready to move in houses, priced at about £69,000 ? Finally, wind turbines are ok if you live in a Scottish Croft in the Western Isles where most days it blows a gale. However, for the rest of the UK, these wind turbines are an uneconomic drain on electricity consumers' financial resources. At some point in the future, there will be stories in the Press on, "how on Earth were the public duped on wasteful, expensive, wind turbines ? "

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  • flobberdob1  |  September 30 2012, 7:52PM

    Stork I take it that you are a supporter of over population that's on the increase ?

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  • 2ladybugs  |  September 30 2012, 9:02AM

    Yep, don't think anybody would disagree with you there Stork :)

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  • Stork  |  September 29 2012, 11:15PM

    floberdobb1 you're an idiot, ok.

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  • flobberdob1  |  September 29 2012, 9:57PM

    I like wind turbines, they are kool , the bigger the better , it's houses I don't want built in the UK.

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  • MadSolutions  |  September 28 2012, 8:30PM

    All these wind farms are a hell of a good reason to live in town, and "Brizz_Tony" the answer to the energy problem is to reduce the population, for the UK and the world. I'm amazed Mr Cox has piped up though he seems to be the most ineffective MP I've ever come across, he's never once replied to anything I've emailed\written to him about. He comes across as being about as effective as a catflap in an Elephant house! Infact much the same as a solar energy farm or a 100 wind turbines really...

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  • Brizz_Tony  |  September 27 2012, 3:35PM

    Sandman18, I agree completely! These subsidy generators a forced on the countryside by people who have never seen one except in glossy brochures. They are no answer to energy problems, and will merely put off finding real answers for years longer.

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  • 2ladybugs  |  September 27 2012, 3:28PM

    Ha!ha! it would certainly save me spitting bullets, and internal combustion might well be another solution. ;))

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  • happygutz  |  September 27 2012, 3:17PM

    it's your mind sett 2lady, you need to bite the bullet and stop seeing things in black and white and ignore those little things that keep badgering you !!!! after all, life is a gas...

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