Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Torridge says ‘no’ to Atlantic Array

PUBLISHED: 22:38 23 September 2013 | UPDATED: 22:40 23 September 2013

Proposals for the Atlantic Array took centre stage at tonight's meeting at Bideford Town Hall.

Proposals for the Atlantic Array took centre stage at tonight's meeting at Bideford Town Hall.

Archant

Full council gives a resounding ‘thumbs down’ despite planning committee vote to ‘raise no objections’.

TORRIDGE District Councillors voted not to support proposals for the Atlantic Array wind farm during a highly-charged meeting in Bideford tonight (Monday).

Less than two weeks after the council’s own planning committee voted to raise no objections to the scheme on planning grounds, tonight’s decision by the full council was met by cheers from the public gallery.

Clenched fists gave way to high-fives when councillors voted 15 to eight in favour of an amended motion proposed by Councillor Andy Boyd.

Cllr Boyd was one of a dozen members to voice their opinions on RWE npower’s 240-turbine scheme.

He said: “There are only nine members on our planning committee and I don’t think this is a strong enough case to be classed as a response from Torridge District Council.

“I am very keen for this council to make a full council response in the negative.”

Cllr Jane Whittaker said: “Nine people made a decision on the plans committee and there are 36 people on this council. I think we should all be able to vote.

Cllr Chris Leather, who brought an original notice of motion to tonight’s meeting, said: “I’m sorry I’ve had to bring this to full council but I value free speech and the inclusive nature of debate.

“We have never had a full council debate on this and I’d be interested to hear the views of fellow councillors.”

Cllr Peter Christie, the only councillor to take the floor in favour of the array, was loudly booed from the public gallery as he continued to speak well after his three minutes of allotted time were up.

While the will of the full council was greater than that of the planning committee, the original decision to raise no objections will still form part of the council’s recommendation to the Planning Inspectorate.

Council solicitor Ken Miles advised members that the resolution of the planning committee had already been submitted as the formal response of the council and could not be altered, although it could be added to at a later date.

The Planning Inspector will use the responses to make a formal recommendation to the Secretary of State, who will then decide whether to grant a development consent order.

But tonight’s debate will help inform that decision and add bluster to the sails of campaigners fighting the giant scheme.

Many had packed into the town hall to make their feelings know to councillors but only five were permitted to speak due to council rules.

A motion to allow more members of the public to speak was defeated and there were ugly scenes before the meeting when one man was ejected by police after being denied the chance to take the floor.

Speaking after the meeting, Penny Mills of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said: “This was the right result and the council should have come to this decision two weeks ago.

“This proposal is the biggest development in this area in living memory – it’s so important.

“It’s not a planning decision and it should have gone to full council in the first place.”

Related articles

Other News Stories

Fri, 14:34

An overturned trailer on the M5 which left three lanes closed has now been cleared.

Read more
Fri, 12:11

Our Devon quiz is back for another round!

Read more
Fri, 10:00

Pupils at Great Torrington Bluecoat Primary School have rallied round to collect donations for an animal rehoming centre.

Read more
Fri, 08:54

The North Devon link road is partially blocked due to an accident near Barnstaple.

Read more
Thu, 15:35

Thousands of pounds worth of power tools were taken in one night, when thieves broke into three parked vans in Ilfracombe.

Read more
Thu, 14:58

A crash involving a lorry and a car on the North Devon link road which was causing delays has now cleared. slowing traffic.

Read more
Thu, 11:00

Ostlers Cider Mill at Goodleigh has celebrated the traditional wassailing ceremony to begin the new year

Read more
Thu, 08:45

Devon and Cornwall residents are being polled on whether they would pay another £12 a year to ‘protect frontline policing’.

Read more
Thu, 08:03

Emergency services were called out after a large chicken shed blew onto a North Devon road.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications