Region ‘a target for windmills’

Joseph Bulmer

Campaigners fear a turbine ‘around every corner’

MEMBERS of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England have tackled Torridge District Council over concerns about its wind turbine policy.

They claim the region’s farmers are being targeted by windmill salesmen because of a perceived loophole in the council’s strategy.

They point to the 20 applications for single wind turbines - most near 35-metres high - currently going through the system.

“It is now a real issue and a number of people have contacted me,” said Torridge CPRE chairman Penny Mills.

“If nothing is done about it there could be a wind turbine around every corner.”

Mrs Mills claimed that applications for single 35-metre turbines were not covered by the council’s policy and many of them were determined without being put before a committee.

“Because of their sheer size and the impact on the rural environment and the cumulative effect, we believe at the very least they should be determined by a committee,” she said.

“At the end of the day, these are large moving structures of over 100 feet high, which do make a noise and do have a visual impact on the countryside.”

Academic Dr Wendy Lawrenson, who lives at Gidcott, near Holsworthy, said the council had to consider the impact of wind turbines on the district.

“Torridge is designated as an area of tranquillity and we need to work hard to maintain this,” she said. “Plans to erect multiple semi-industrial wind turbines stretched higgledy piggledy across Torridge must be questioned vigorously.”

Planning officer Barbel Francis denied there was a loophole, saying the council abided by policy laid down by the government. A landscape impact survey was planned for this year, she said.