BT floats plan for Mullacott turbines

THE opinion of local councillors and authorities is being sought on a proposal to erect wind turbines on land within a mile-and-a-half of Ilfracombe. British Telecom has submitted an inquiry to North Devon Council to test the waters and see what reaction

THE opinion of local councillors and authorities is being sought on a proposal to erect wind turbines on land within a mile-and-a-half of Ilfracombe.

British Telecom has submitted an inquiry to North Devon Council to test the waters and see what reaction there would be to the installation of a possible three turbines on land at Greater Shelfin Farm near Mullacott.

It is not a formal planning application and is one of many BT has made on sites across the UK as part of its drive to use more renewable energy.

This "scoping application" as it is known, comes a year after the company gained permission to place an anemometer on the site to measure wind speeds and directions.


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"This is basically an outline of some of the overall proposals for the site," said Jason Mann of BT.

"I think three turbines are being suggested. The council will give us an opinion, after consulting with other local organisations and we would use that as the basis for hopefully submitting an application later this year.

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"BT would like to generate up to 25 per cent of its requirements from wind power by 2016, part of our aims to reduce carbon emissions by 80- per cent on 1996 levels."

Ilfracombe Town Council's planning committee was set to look at the proposals on Monday night and consider its response to the scoping application.

"It is clearly important that renewable energy sources are developed, but what we will have to consider is whether this is an appropriate site for the proposed wind turbines," said the Mayor, Councillor Philip Webb, when he spoke to the Gazette.

Local Devon County Councillor Geoff Fowler said the thought of turbines on the site would no doubt bring forth a number of different views.

"In principle I think it's something to be considered very seriously," he said.

"From a county point of view the precedent has already been set in the area because of Fullabrook and in years gone by there was a turbine at Higher Slade.

"BT uses an awful lot of electricity for their transmission equipment so I understand why they feel they need to go down the green route.

"At this stage we are still waiting to hear officially from the rest of the consultation that will be going ahead.

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