FAMILIES living in Yelland have expressed their shock at stumbling upon" plans to build three 130-metre wind turbines in the tiny neighbouring hamlet of Bickleton. Details of the proposal by Stamford Renewables Limited (SRL) only began to emerge this wee
FAMILIES living in Yelland have expressed their shock at "stumbling upon" plans to build three 130-metre wind turbines in the tiny neighbouring hamlet of Bickleton.Details of the proposal by Stamford Renewables Limited (SRL) only began to emerge this week after a development brief was apparently "leaked" to a number of local people living near the site at Bickleton Farm.Yelland woman Mo Mugridge said she was "horrified" to learn that a local farmer and a developer had already made a presentation about the plans to Fremington Parish Council in August."I received a copy of the brief from residents of Bickleton," she said."None of the local community were aware of the content of the presentation and therefore only the farmer and the developer attended."Joanne Bell, also from Yelland, said she was telephoned by residents living close to Bickleton Farm, and had also been anonymously passed the briefing on the proposed development."Parishioners know absolutely nothing about this," she said.Item four, "Presentation on Renewable Energy at Bickleton", appeared on the agenda of a supplementary and planning meeting, held on August 18.According to the minutes of the meeting, seven councillors attended to listen to the presentation. In his brief to councillors, SRL chief executive Mike Stamford said that the presentation marked Consultationthe "beginning of a period of public consultation for the proposed renewable energy development"."The purpose of the brief is to inform the residents of Fremington parish (through the medium of their parish councillors) about the proposed development of wind turbines at Bickleton Farm," it said."The press and local planning authority have not yet been informed, so local parishioners are the first in the community to know of this proposed development."SRL are more than happy to make a fuller and lengthier presentation at the invitation of the Fremington Parish Council." Both Mrs Bell and Miss Mugridge have now called for the council to take up the offer."I urge the council to organise this at the earliest opportunity," said Miss Mugridge, who this week made a written request to the parish council."Many local residents wish to attend the meeting and make their strong opinions known."Mrs Bell added: "I totally support Mike Stamford of SRL in his request to Fremington Parish Council to make a formal presentation to the council and trust that whenever this takes place (soon hopefully) that it will be advertised well in advance and include the word 'turbines'," she said."Nothing irritates the public more than perceived secrecy."But Fremington Parish Council chairman David Jury said that there was no suggestion that the "business proposal" had been kept "under wraps"."The meeting agenda was advertised in the usual way and the minutes are always available for members of the public," he said."The council made no resolution that evening and I do not see that it is the parish council's responsibility to communicate proposals on behalf of a developer."Mr Jury said that if and when proposals were submitted to the planning authority, the council would look at them as a matter of course.