Following our meeting early in December, Dan Rogerson MP has written to Cornwall Council about wind turbines. His letter is something of a disappointment as it does not raise most of the major issues we discussed, and there is a clear need to press these points further.
This is the text of his letter, addressed to Tom Flanagan, the (outgoing) Corporate Director for Planning, Environment and Economy:
I met with a group of residents from the Parish of Withiel at my recent advice surgery. They are concerned as to the lack of stategic planning on the location of wind turbines in their part of North Cornwall. They also have some very sensible points to make about maintenance and safety on medium and large-sized turbines.
With regard to the first point, I understand Adrian Lea will be attending a meeting of the Parish Council on the 4th January to discuss their plannig concerns.
When considering a planning application of this kind do any of the conditions relate to maintenance of the turbines, as there are concerns that poorly maintained machines might put nearby buildings at risk should there be a problem with high winds, as happened recently in Scotland? I should be grateful if you can offer me any reasssurance on the maintenance question.
With regard to strategic planning, there is concvern that applications are being dealtn with in isolation of each other and the cumulative impact is therefore not being addressed. While I appreciate that all planning applications should be dealt with in the prescribed time, should there be anything that the council can do to encourage a more community-based approach, I believe that this will go a long way towards reassuring my constituents that their views are being taken seriously.
Thank you for your advice.