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July 2010, special meeting of Clayhidon Parish Council

Clayhidon Parish Council


A Special Meeting was held, Monday 19th July 2010 at 6 pm at Great Garlandhayes Farm, Clayhidon.



Height Demonstration of Proposed Wind Turbine



Mr MJ Hudson, Chairman; Mr RM Kallaway; Mr RJ Pike; Mr AJF Redwood; Mr ME Bendle; Miss J Ward; Mrs S Hay; Mrs L Bennett, A.O.N.B; Mr & Mrs G Langford; and Mr MC Osmond, clerk. Also present were a small number of parishioners from the area with an interest in the demonstration.


            Chairman noted that Mr. Langford wished to demonstrate the proposed height of mast on the erection site and from what points it was visible in the area around.  Noted, two sites in field   A) mast of Graddage Farm    B) mast of Great Garlandhayes, with aim for comparison.  Four balloons were tied together and flown on measured length of string.  At times these were caught by wind and unable to see height for a length of time.  Height of trees in the hedge was noted and the electric poles.  Whilst Mr. and Mrs. Langford tried to keep the balloons up to their maximum height, Mrs. Hay went up the road for sightings and to Mount Pleasant House, owner of land adjoining site field.  During demonstration Mr. Langford drew attention to the area height contours as this affected viewing of mast at a distance.  Members saw the number of high trees around the field and hedge along the road from Bar Park to Great Garlandhayes with only breaks for gateways.  The Chairman did attempt to take photo during the demonstration for later record and viewing.  In conclusion thanks were given for the demonstration and members returned to the Church Room for views on the demonstration and response, if further changes needed to the Planning Appeal time deadline after visit to Gipsy Cross, Hemyock to view masts on farm, to see visual impact. Mr Bendle thought now, although there were still impact concerns, difficult to oppose application on mast height as, in relation to tree height at site, was not greatly different. Mr Pike did support green fuel supply but noted of need for neighbours’ privacy. Mr Redwood thought at first, mast was well above tree line, but now not as bad, taking into consideration boundary trees shielding mast more than first thought. Mr Kallaway stated of height not a problem with him. A different design with smaller blades would have been much better. The design chosen perhaps most efficient but the rotor is much larger being more visible and the balloon demonstration did not show width of blades in rotation. Mrs Hay stated was visible as stated at certain points. The view from Mount Pleasant House was that balloon was significant but not as high as expected. Miss Ward supported in principal application and other views expressed.


Chairman in conclusion

            Application not straightforward; if granted, would set a precedent for more of this size and height in the parish, rather than the smaller as per Graddage turbine. Limited grounds for objection and came down to visual impact in area. Noted the AONB now had a report prepared for discussion on the types available and their efficiency plus impact in the landscape.  The present mast was shielded in part by high hedge but that was only as long as owner did not cut this. After further general discussion as to weather changes needed in response made to Planning Application, general view was that boundary trees did screen most of the mast apart from a top portion and blade. The balloon demonstration did not totally remove the residual concerns of neighbours on the visual impact it would have. On planning requirements, it was difficult to oppose. Chairman to draft a letter to include this is a precedent application in size and height in AONB and Council were aware of concerns of neighbours, of which had been advised to make their own response on application.

Letter, Cullompton Town Council

Clerk had received a letter from Cullompton Town Council stating of their concerns over planning permissions granted with conditions attached which had never been followed up to confirm compliance. Letter sought views of other Parish Councils on whether they had the same experiences. Members agreed with contents of letter, but did not want another layer of inspectors or paperwork. The present Officers should get out and do their job more and, if notified by Parish/Town Council of concerns with a development, action should be taken, not logged and filed. As there were no other matters, the Chairman thanked members for attending and closed the meeting.