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October 2009, special meeting of Clayhidon Parish Council

Clayhidon Parish Council


A Special Meeting was held, Wednesday 28th October 2009 in the Church Room at 7pm. in the Church Room.




Wind Turbine Planning Application – Great Garlandhayes Farm.


            Mr MJ Hudson, Vice Chairman; Miss J Ward, Mr RJ Pike, Mr AFJ Redwood, Mr ME Bendle, Mr RM Kallaway, Parishoners – Mrs C Williams, J Vella, N Woodgate, Mr & Mrs P Gregory, Mr & Mrs P Hopper, Miss F Parker, Mr R Jeffery, Mrs M Hutchings, Dr J Cogswell, Mr R Heydon, Mrs S Doggett, R & P Morgan, Mr C Hoare, Mr A Board, Miss G Shaw, Mrs S Hay, Mrs H Seddon, Mr & Mrs M Coate, Mr G Langford and Mr M Osmond, clerk.


On opening the meeting Mr Hudson welcomed all those present and then gave an outline of the Parish Council role and the guidelines for the consideration of a planning application that is received.  There was Government/County/District Policies to be considered before any decision made by the District Council. Parish Council did not give permission to an application but made comments for consideration in regard to how it would have any impact within the guidelines of the Parish.  As parish within the AONB of Blackdown Hills it was government policy there was no automatic embargo to prevent these being erected and extract read to meeting in regard to this.  Details of application given to meeting, base sunk in ground of concrete, then lattice type mast erected on this.  The highest point on the end of blade reached was 81ft.  To be erected to N.W. of Great Garlandhayes.  Details of the electricity produced, type of manufacture as downwind with a gearbox and the noise levels of this type and size.  Surplus electricity to go to National Grid but to do this a three phase converter had to be installed.  The chairman then invited parishioners to comment on the application as views expressed were taken into consideration in any response made.  As Dr Cogswell had a turbine at Graddage Farm, he then compared this to his type.  He had no objection to the application.  Details of difference is given as smaller in output as 6 kW and 9 metre mast also a downwind type.  No gearbox.  There was only slight difference in type technology.  As shorter in height, was not as visible, but as application had a higher mast then it was more visible.  K. Hopper of Pleasant House stated it was 70 metres from field boundary, would be visible and any noise of blades would be heard.  The size was important because of height.  Did object to application.  The noise level of 5dBs.  The blades constant turning at the same revolutions gave constant noise.  Reference made to agent details as incorrect.  This was stated by Chairman as misquote.  There were bats in roof of Pleasant House and this could be in their flight path or affect their hearing with high or low frequency sound.  Chairman read a paragraph from Seger –English Nature on research done and present research head shown bats not affected with this single type. Mrs S Doggett stated living opposite site, would hear any noise, this main concern. The owner of Highfields not in favour due to height impact. Miss F Parker was in favour of green technology and was best if these could be supported as alternative source of energy. Mr M Coate stated of the cost of energy that households & businesses had to pay, if there was a 3 phase link there, could be supplied to the area. Noted pressure from government for alternative sources of energy but at what cost?  There was low frequency sound and tonal noise and this was still being researched on any effects to humans near any generation of this.  Mr Hoare raised the Blackdown Hills policy on turbines (copy from Google presented) and chairman read parts of this.  Policy not against construction of masts.  Points made on publication of application with limited time for reply.  Chairman replied it was the duty of District Council to advertise all applications and all applications had this short period to make comments on them including the Parish Council.  When no parishioners concerned then combined with Council's reply to be made.  Parish council do not advertise the applications.  Mr Hudson then invited Mr Langford to reply to those points raised.  He then stated of the notice he had given to neighbours two weeks before application.  The 3 phase converter was required to connect to National Grid. Noise was given by large 40 metre blades turning, but these were smaller blades without the noise, being of low frequency and this type as silent running compared to mast at Graddage.  It was proven the turbine was low sound type therefore better for location.  He noted that where residents live was downwind to mast although site had moved around to have the least impact in the area, but as a mast it would be seen due to its height and lattice type used due to former electric pylons and water pump power in the area.  With base underground and covered with topsoil no visual effects to be seen.  Other data was present if members wish to read this.  As there was no other questions raised Mr Hudson wished to take a straw poll on those present to indicate opinions:-3 persons not opposed, 4 persons undecided, 15 not in favour.  Chairman gave the planning number of application to make any comments on to the District Council.  At present the AONB had not published their comments on application.  As height was a concern to those present a vote was taken if the mast height was reduced and this showed the number less against the application, but it was also noted that some stated as it was greater than his need it was like industrial and were against this and should be reduced in electric output more to actual need.  Mr Hudson then thanked those present for attending.  The Parish Council then discussed the application and the comments made by those present.  Noted Mr Langford was not present for this.  Former electric pylons and water tower mast were lattice type, but not thought they were good, a matter of personal taste while others could live with this design.  Noted research done on the application and a turbine precedent had been set at Graddage Farm being quite near.  Members wish to put the least intrusion into the area and this mast did have visual impact to area.  Noted it was for a single mast to be erected.  If more were to be erected in the area impact reduced as being just another one.  Height concerns to be stated in response.  Agreed contact to be made to Mr F. Rosamond District Councillor for application to be called in for site visit, possible balloon on site to get the height proposed.  As the principal set by the planning department to give permission, Parish Council not opposed the state of height concerns agreed observations to reply.


Application Acre Ridge

            Following the Garlandhayes application, this was discussed for Certificate of Lawfulness for use of existing building as ancillary domestic use.  Members agreed the building had been used in pursuit of various hobbies for the past 10 years and no other comments to make on the application.

            Mr Hudson then thanked those present for attending and then closed the special meeting.

            Due to the present postal strikes the Clerk agreed to deliver the planning comments to Phoenix House, Tiverton.