'Enough is enough' to monster turbines
PLANS to erect five monster wind turbines which will be bigger than St Paul's Cathedral, have pushed the MP for Torridge and West Devon to make a stand.
Geoffrey Cox MP has not, until now, objected to any individual turbine application.
But the proposal to erect five giant 126 metre turbines at Harbourcross Land at Meddon, which overlooks the picturesque village of Hartland, has made him say "enough is enough".
The application, which has been submitted to Torridge District Council by developers Wind Ventures Ltd, is currently in the public consultation phase.
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Mr Cox is this week meeting with Eric Pickles MP, the secretary of state for communities, to discuss the influx of turbines applications being submitted to the district council.
He said: "There are no fewer than 60 applications currently in the planning system at Torridge.
"Enough is enough, we have to wake up and have a wider debate about the effect these turbines will have on our communities.
"These turbines at Meddon will be taller than St Paul's Cathedral.
"I have full sympathy with the leader of Torridge.
"The developers think they have a weak council, and if the application is rejected they dig into their pockets and defend the appeal while a small council like Torridge can't afford the extra legal costs of the appeal.
"It is just not fair, they are picking on this part of the county."
Earlier this year Mr Cox was one of the 101 MPs to sign a letter to Prime Minster David Cameron calling for government subsidies for wind turbines to be cut.
Torridge based anti turbine group Stop It, are also trying to drum up as much support to object to the giant turbines at Meddon.
David Westcott, the chairman of the group, said: "The noise and visual impact of the turbines would have a devastating effect on the lives of those living in the area and will be seen from a huge area including Woolsery, Higher Clovelly, the South Western Coastal Path and Bursdon Moor, a protected SSSI site.
"It will be a colossal industrial feature in our rural landscape and tourist businesses already hit by a bad summer feel even less people will visit the area if it is covered with wind turbines.
"They would also be a dominant feature just one kilometre from the North Devon AONB, a designated and highly protected Area of Outstanding Beauty that runs in a corridor between the coastline and the A39."
But Daniel Baird, project manager for Wind Ventures, said the group was unnecessarily worrying people.
He said: "We are concerned about some arguments repeated again by Stop It including those relating to visual impact, noise and effects on AONB.
"As we have told the group on many previous occasions, all these issues will be fully investigated as part of the detailed planning process."
Mr Baird confirmed the company had delayed submitting the application to ensure the surrounding communities were well aware of it.
He added: "We do not believe that there are too many wind farms in North Devon, and during our consultation we found many local supporters who agree with us.
"But the real reason we are here is nothing to do with other wind farms, it's because we believe that this is an excellent site for a wind farm."
The consultation for the application closes on October 9.