The site visits by members of the Cornwall Council Planning Committee went very well, and we thank all those who turned out on a ferociously cold workday afternoon to show the strength of feeling against more wind turbines in the Parish. Up to thirty people attended at one site, and according to Lanivet councillor Mick Martin the committee members were impressed at the turnout.
Nine members of the Planning Committee, accompanied by a retinue of council acolytes, mustered at the Village Hall and went first to Higher Bosneives, where John Piper has applied for a 50KW turbine. No member of the Parish Council attended the site visits save the Chairman, whose application this is. The format was that the planning committee Chairman invited the planning officer to outline the application and the officers’ attitude to it, after which councillors could ask questions. Finally, local people were allowed to speak.
At Higher Bosneives, Jim Michell spoke on behalf of Dom Floyd, the nearest resident whose house is 240 metres from the turbine. He spoke to the proximity of the turbine to the Saints Way, and the effect of its noise on the Floyds’ house – these turbines have been likened to “having a truck idling outside your house day and night”.
We moved on to the field behind Little Hustyn where John Drake plans a turbine, this one significantly larger than Piper’s. Here Judge Giles Forrester, who has lived at Little Hustyn, 250 metres away, for 35 years spoke on behalf of residents. Giles had prepared a full briefing in a folder which contained maps and data, and it was distressing to see that none of the councillors had taken their folder to the site. Joe Dixon, whose house is a similar distance from the turbine to Giles’s, also spoke. The cumulative impact of these turbines was stressed, in relation to the fact that REG Windpower plans to replace the St Breock wind farm with six turbines twice the size.
We moved on to Hendra – the field adjacent to the crossroads south of Withiel – where neither the landowner nor the agent turned up. It was pointed out that this was an example of an agency turbine, one for which the landowner was paid rent while all the income accrued to a company in Scotland.
Our thoughts now turn to the meeting of the Planning Committee on Wednesday February 8th when these planning applications will be decided.