Opponents take array fight to the streets

Peter Heaton-Jones and Steve Crowther at Morte Point, with Michael Pagram and Bob Gotts.

Peter Heaton-Jones and Steve Crowther at Morte Point, with Michael Pagram and Bob Gotts. - Credit: Archant

March in Barnstaple on Saturday to raise awareness of wind farm ‘monster’.

OPPOSITION to a giant wind farm eight miles off the North Devon coast is being taken to the streets this Saturday.

A protest march against RWE npower’s Atlantic Array is taking place in Barnstaple town centre at 11am, followed by public meeting an hour later at the Park Hotel.

The march, organised by campaign group Slay The Array, will start at North Walk and go along the High Street to The Square.

Opponents of the 240-turbine scheme fear the 700-foot high generators will be all too visible from the coast

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Spokesman Steve Crowther said: “We will hand out leaflets and make sure that North Devonians are fully aware of the issue, and the need to register as objectors before September 16.”

The parade follows Thursday’s unexpected ‘anti-array’ alliance formed between local Conservative and UKIP members.

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Mr Crowther, who is also the national chairman of UKIP, has welcomed the support of Tory North Devon general election hopeful Peter Heaton-Jones.

Mr Heaton-Jones, who hopes to unseat Liberal Democrat MP Nick Harvey at the next election, said after researching the scheme, he felt it was ‘clearly wrong’ and had to be opposed.

“So I called Steve and said let’s get together and fight this, because it’s right for the people of North Devon that we put this plan very firmly to bed,” he said.

“This is not a party political issue – I’m not working with Steve under any banner, “I’m working with him because of all the work Slay the Array has done in effectively opposing the scheme – he has the experience and expertise in this.

“We are putting party politics aside; I am doing what I think is right for the people of North Devon and that trumps any inconvenience I might get from people in the Conservative Party.”

Mr Crowther said: “The key thing we all recognise is that North Devon is under very, very significant threat.

“Lundy Island will be ruined, because the whole point is its remoteness and natural habitat. One in six people here earn their living from tourism and the risk that Ed Davey is taking with the livelihoods of North Devonians is unacceptable.”

The final decision to grant or refuse planning permission will lie with the Secretary of State, but North Devon Council and Torridge District Council will have a role in the process if it is accepted for consideration.

Register your interest in the application by going to http://infrastructure.planningportal.gov.uk/projects/south-west/atlantic-array-wind-farm

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