Industrial creep

New concerns about the creep of industrialisation from the A30 towards Withiel were expressed at the July meeting of Withiel Parish Council, and in particular the storage of shipping containers in two places north of the old A30. Council members have received complaints about the containers, and a member of the public attended to voice concerns that they were unsightly and unsafe.

Council Chairman Janet Shearer had visited the site at the request of people in the Parish and reported that there were about 20 containers in a lay-by, with a nearby sign offering them for sale. After a debate it was decided to contact Cornwall Council, through our County Councillor Chris Batters, to establish exactly who owned the affected land, who held authority and responsibility for it, and to proceed once this was known.

Also discussed was the wind farm at Scotland Corner, above Rosenannon, for which planning permission was refused two months ago. The developers have submitted a new proposal for a similar number of turbines, but 10m shorter. It was decided to oppose the proposal on the following grounds:

“The proposal, by reason of its size, siting and proximity to settlements will give rise to unacceptable landscape and visual impacts which would be experienced by a significant number of receptors of varying sensitivity, including users of the local highway network, occupiers of neighbouring properties, recreational walkers and visitors to religious and heritage assets and other amenities within the area. Furthermore, the siting of the proposed turbines would result in landscape and visual impacts of a cumulative nature, given the existence and likely introduction of new wind energy within the surrounding local landscape, heightened by the varied heights and differing models of turbines and their respective locations which would further undermine the interpretation and enjoyment of the landscape such that the area would become a wind turbine defined landscape, contrary to sections 10 and 11 of the National Planning Policy Frameworks, saved policies ENV1, DVS1 and TRU4 of the North Cornwall District Local Plan 1999.”

Councillor Coy was delegated to attend a meeting in Wadebridge to decide how the community fund from the St Breock wind farm should be spent. Councillor Harper thought it odd that we should take the money, given our attitude to turbines. Councillor Malone said that every household in Withiel was paying about £300 a year in electricity surcharges to the likes of wind farm owners, and every family would pay some £7,500 extra over the life of the turbines. If we could manage to get a tiny proportion of that back, we’d be stupid to refuse.

As responsible financial officer, Councillor Coy ran through the projected figures for the year which showed that, with all requirements for reserves looked after, we should have a surplus of £450 if the collector box for Withiel’s street lights is paid for from Section 106 funds available to us, as has been agreed. Regarding the collector box (by which the street lights can be controlled centrally by Cornwall Council) Councillor Malone reported that it would not be possible to switch the lights off in the small hours to save electricity. A council that had done so had been judged negligent after an accident, much to its cost.

Five items of expenditure were authorised – see the official Minutes on for full details. The Chairman closed the meeting at 8pm, thanking all who had attended. The next Parish Council meeting is on Wednesday August 5th at 7:15pm. All are welcome.