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Special meeting about wind turbines, March 2011

Clayhidon Parish Council, official minutes

    A Special Meeting was held, Monday 21st March 2011 in the Parish Hall at 7.30pm.

Agenda:- Wind Turbine Application - Great Garlandhayes Farm

Present

Mr MJ Hudson, Chairman; Mr RJ Pike; Mr AJF Redwood; Miss J Ward; Mr RM Kallaway; Mr ME Bendle; Mr B Clowney; Mr A Hill; Mrs B Hill; Mr R Brown; Mrs T Blackmore; Mr & Mrs Prettejohn; Miss F Parker; Mr & Mrs R Smith; Mr J Bendle; Mr R Blackmore; Mr & Mrs G Langford; Mr R Jeffery; Mr N Carter; Mr & Mrs P Morgan; Mr P Hopper; Miss K Hopper; Dr J Cogswell; Mrs G Clarke; Mr A Board; Mrs C Williams; M Criddle; N Woodgate; Mr R Heydon' Mr RJ Drew; Mr RW Drew and Mr MC Osmond, clerk

Apology

An apology was given for Mrs S Hay as unable to attend.

On opening the meeting Mr. Hudson gave a welcome to those present and gave an outline of the application details received for two turbines each mounted on 12 metre masts with 3 bladed rotas, each 5.4 metres in diameter.

Mr. Langford was invited to speak on application noting details of previous application in which the inspector had issues with height and “visual impact”. Other issues raised had been dismissed. The present application after consideration now had height of masts reduced to 12 metres with smaller blades.

Also now the site for these two masts had been moved closer to Great Garlandhayes. There was now reduced power from these. A pole had been erected to obtain photo montages for visual impact. Details of this were given, and at what points visible or not. Also details given on distance from other dwellings in regard to any noise generated.

Miss Hopper then spoke on the application, as nearest property and land owner, and drew attention to statement of application for distances from other properties as she stated these were closer than stated. There was a need for screening and stated although hedge had grown up at present this could be cut down to leave no screening.

The Chairman in reply stated from Mr. Langford that hedges were in scheme for a rotation to be laid, if cut would then grow up again as part of hedge management of Natural England policy for these. Noise levels for two masts of this type together was not known at present. Mr. Morgan of Oakland's stated that the trial mast was visible from all rooms in house.

Mr. Drew of Callers Farm stated that “Mole Valley” was in preparation of policy to aid the introduction of turbines on farms to meet the electrical needs in near future due to shut down of coal fired generation of electricity. Mr. Carter stated information available of EDF on usage and generation and there was a shortfall in supply.

A point raised on the effect blades may have on horses was raised and Dr. Cogswell stated that horses on his property not affected though stocked in same field as mast. Chairman, asked on Mid Devon District Council's policy for masts, stated that at present each mast was considered on its own merit. As the area of Clayhidon is on a plateau it lent itself to the erection of turbines, as in the past for water pumps.

A point was raised on possible interference to radio and television reception in the area. This was not known if possible but Mr. R Pike, a radio enthusiast for some time, stated that “Offcom” could trace any interference for purpose of removal.

As a vote of those present at previous application had taken place, a request was made for this again. On a show of hands 8 persons objected to current application, 16 persons present in favour with 10 persons who had phoned chairman in support and 5 abstentions. This closed the public involvement part of the meeting.

The Councillors then gave their own views. Mr. Redwood stated this was a compromise application to meet the concerns raised on previous application and no objections. Mr. Pike stated he agreed with Mr. Redwood's view and also that other forms of energy needed to meet demand.

Miss Ward stated, in agreement with views already expressed and no objections. Mr. Kallaway stated that in past in Bolham area there were water pump turbines, so there had been masts in the parish before. Efforts made to lower mast and blade height. Other turbines in the AONB area so this not a question of erection. Not sure if would affect property values. As this was a lower mast he supported the application.

Mr. Bendle stated of world picture and energy needs, turbines not new, each application on its own merit. Height and any noise concerns taken into consideration to have less impact in area as stated by previous members so he had no objection to the application. On a vote of Councillors the application was passed nem-com in its support.

On question from a parishioner if Parish Council had powers to limit the number of turbines, the chairman stated the Parish Council had no powers to control total number. All considered within Planning Policy. The meeting was then closed with thanks given to those present for attending at 8.35pm.

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