Crunch meetings to debate Atlantic Array wind farm
11:45 01 August 2013
Councils set to meet to decide views on giant Bristol Channel energy generation scheme.
NORTH Devon Council and Torridge District Council are being asked to decide their view on the Atlantic Array offshore wind farm application.
Both councils now have six weeks to provide their view as to whether a Development Consent Order (DCO) should be granted by the Planning Inspectorate.
They are set to hold special meetings of their planning committees over the coming weeks.
Councillor Mike Edmunds, North Devon Council’s executive member for strategic planning said: “Although the final decision to grant or refuse planning permission for the development lies with the Secretary of State it is important as a neighbouring authority to consider its pros and cons.
“Because of this we will be looking at the application thoroughly so that we can put forward the view that we think is right for the local area.”
Cllr Margaret Brown vice-chairman of Torridge District Council’s plans committee added: “Members will have a lot to discuss and we will have to make sure we look at everything very carefully before submitting any comments to the Inspectorate.”
Developer RWE npower renewables is seeking permission to build around 240 wind turbines, as well as substations and meteorological stations, approximately 16km from the North Devon coast line.
On-shore development work would include underground cables from Cornborough Range to a new substation at Alverdiscott.
Torridge is responding to the Inspectorate’s consultation as a statutory consultee because of development works in their district and North Devon Council is responding as an interested party neighbouring the Torridge district.
Chairman of the Atlantic Array Steering Group, Geoff Fowler, said: “Over the last 12-plus months the steering group has considered, discussed and responded wherever possible to the numerous Atlantic Array reports.
“At our last meeting we came to the point that because Torridgeside issues are different to those of North Devon’s it would be difficult to give a collective recommendation to our respective councils.
“Therefore it was decided to take our accrued knowledge back to full council to debate then leave the final recommendation to the Planning Committees as consultees to the Planning Inspectorate.”
Members of the public have from today (Wednesday) until September 16 to comment on the proposals or make a representation to the Planning Inspectorate.
To do so, visit http://infrastructure.planningportal.gov.uk/projects/south-west/atlantic-array-wind-farm