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Plans for renewable energy projects dismissed

Four separate appeals against council decisions to refuse proposed renewable energy projects have been dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate within the last week, North Devon Gazette has reported.

Single wind turbines in Ashwater, Bratton Fleming and Iddesleigh, and a solar farm at Buckland Filleigh, near Beaworthy, were all refused by North Devon, West Devon and Torridge district councils respectively.

In the latest decision notice issued on Monday 7 July, planning inspector Janice Trask said Ecotricity’s plans for a 84-metre-high turbine at Witherdon Wood, near Ashwater, would have had a ‘detrimental effect on the rural and tranquil character and appearance of the area’.

On Thursday, inspector Wendy Burden dismissed ClearWinds’ plans for a 78-metre turbine at Knightacott, near Bratton Fleming, amid similar concerns it would cause ‘significant harm’ to the landscape.

On July 1, the same inspector scotched Lightsource Renewable Energy’s revised plans for a solar farm at Chalhanger Farm, near Buckland Filleigh due to visual impact.

She also said that while the scheme would have generated around 6MW of electricity, 25-30 years was ‘a significant length of time for a harmful development to be in place’.

On June 30, Colin Illman’s appeal for a wind turbine on a 30-metre mast at Coombe Farm, near Iddesleigh was also dismissed.

Inspector Janice Trask raised concerns about visual impact, as well as the effect on nearby residents and local heritage of the area, dubbed ‘War Horse Valley’.

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