‘Wrong proposal in the wrong location’ claim

Sunday 23rd August 2009 10:00 pm
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"THIS windfarm proposal is not the right way of providing sustainable energy. It has the potential to adversely affect the quality of life in the rural community around it in a hugely significant way. It is, in short, the wrong proposal in the wrong location."

This was how Reuben Taylor, barrister, for the Den Brook Judicial Review Group (DBJRG), began his opening submissions on behalf of the group at the second public inquiry into the proposed Den Brook wind farm.

No-one could have foreseen what a detailed, intense and often frustrating exercise the inquiry would be.

After only two days it became obvious that there was too much evidence to be heard even though the inquiry had already been extended from six to eight days.

The outcome was that it was agreed to adjourn the noise evidence from the current eight day session.

The inspector, Andrew Pykett, then agreed to hear the noise evidence over four days beginning on Wednesday, October 21.

Representatives for Renewable Energy Systems Ltd (RES), which wants to build nine 125 metre high wind turbines in the Den Brook Valley (which is located between Bow, Spreyton and North Tawton), were not best pleased with the decision to hear the noise evidence at a later date.

The Den Brook Judicial Review Group, however, which opposes the scheme, was pleased that its evidence would be heard in full in October.

The eight-day inquiry, which was held at Okehampton Community College, came to an end on Wednesday, August 5.

Mr Hulme said: "RES fiercely objected to an adjournment of the noise evidence but it was they who resisted our (DBJRG) and West Devon Borough Council's (WDBC) previous advice to the planning inspectorate that not enough time had been allocated for the inquiry.

"Furthermore, RES fired a last minute surprise by introducing a new expert witness only days before the inquiry began, which only exacerbated matters.

"The evidence heard included landscape and archaeology from WDBC's expert witnesses claiming that the wind farm proposed by RES is poorly designed and inappropriately sited, and will have unacceptable and damaging impacts not only on the Den Brook Valley but surrounding areas of the tranquil Devonshire countryside; which of course include the Dartmoor National Park.

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